Basil Pesto

Phew, it has been far too long since my last post, I apologize. We have been spending any and all free time enjoying summer, which suddenly arrived here in North Dakota. Speaking of summer, one of my favorite things about summer is futzing around in our garden. We don’t have a huge garden, just a few raised beds in the backyard. We have so far been able to eat lettuce and fresh herbs. We have four basil plants, which by the end of the summer will provide us with enough pesto to last us until winter, early spring if we use the frozen stash sparingly. Tonight we made our first batch of basil pesto fresh from the garden and it was delicious. My two-year old helped pick the leaves, add the ingredients to the food processor and press the “on” button. She even had to lick the rubber spatula I used to scrape the sides down. I think she would have drunk the entire batch if I had let her. If you don’t have fresh basil in your backyard, find a friend, neighbor, farmer’s market and make some!

Basil Pesto

makes 1 C.

Ingredients:

2 C. packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 C. toasted pine nuts (optional)

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 to 2/3 C. olive oil

1/2 C. parmesan cheese

In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts (optional-we have never made this using pine nuts and it tastes wonderful without) garlic, salt and pepper. With the blender or food processor running, slowly add enough olive oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. While you’re making the pesto, you can go ahead and boil your favorite pasta. I like to just drain the pasta, put it back into the cooking pot and stir in the pesto and parmesan cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like to add a protein to the meal, grilled chicken makes a great accompaniment.

The pesto can be made up to 2 days ahead, cover and refrigerate.

Source: Giada’s Family Dinners

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