When you think of summer herbs, what comes to mind? For me, fresh basil pesto is right on the top of the list. Basil is probably my all time favorite herb, and after growing my own in our garden, it became clear to me that fresh picked basil is the only way to go. I have had an overabundance of basil in my garden lately; it’s been a pleasant “problem” to have! I try to use as much of it as possible in my daily dishes, but a few leaves here and there just won’t cut it when my plants are producing like they are!
So…the other day I found myself walking in from the garden carrying a large bowl completely filled to the brim with basil leaves. It seemed like the best option would be to make some fresh basil pesto! The process is simple, as well as the components. But I was missing one of the classic pesto ingredients: pine nuts. Crud. That always seems to happen to me – I get the brilliant idea to create something, and I’m missing one crucial ingredient.
Not to be deterred, I turned to the Internet to search out a recipe for pesto without pine nuts. Surely there had to be a recipe idea out there! Sure enough, I found my recipe inspiration from Skinnytaste with her skinny basil pesto. I made a few tweaks as I went through the process of creating my own version, and was extremely pleased with the results!
What rocked my socks off even more was that I had extra pesto…quite a lot extra…than I needed on that particular day. Ice cube trays to the rescue! I simply spooned the leftover basil pesto into the wells of the tray, covered it, and popped it in the freezer. Now when I need a bit of fresh pesto, I pop out a cube or two to throw into a dish or to simply defrost and add olive oil for some bread dipping goodness!
If there is one thing I absolutely love, it is a hunk of crusty, warm baguette dipped in pesto with olive oil. When we go out to dinner and a warm loaf of bread with olive oil and pesto are placed at the table, I could pretty much satisfy my hunger by noshing on that alone. Normally, I don’t allow bread in my house…because if left to my own devices, I will devour it without hesitation. But for special occasions…or a weekend of relaxation….I can make an exception. Just pour me a glass of wine alongside this platter and I’m a happy camper.
How about you – are you also a fan of fresh basil pesto?
Fresh Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 6½ tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- Add basil leaves (stems removed), garlic, grated parmesan, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until finely minced (about 20 pulses).
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into the processor as you continue to pulse the mixture until all is incorporated. If the pesto is still a bit dry in texture, continue drizzling olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
- Spoon olive oil into a shallow dish or plate and drizzle with herbed olive oil. Dip slices of crusty baguette into the mixture; enjoy!
Adapted from Skinnytaste