Fresh Basil Pesto

Pick fresh basil to make basil pesto, a great sauce for pasta or chicken. It’s easy to grow basil in your garden and harvest it for using fresh in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted*
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

In food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper; process until pine nuts are ground. With motor running, gradually add oil through feed tube, processing until mixture forms a paste. Add Parmesan cheese; pulse until blended.

Pesto can be made ahead. Place sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent discoloration; refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 6 months.

Makes 1 1/3 cups.

TIP *To toast pine nuts, heat small heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and stir constantly 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

USED WITH PERMISSION FROM CELEBRATING HERBS, COOKING CLUB OF AMERICA