Easy Classic Basil Pesto

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The warm weather in May and early June has made my basil grow like crazy really fast, so I decided I needed to cut it down so it would continue to flourish, and what better way to use a large amount of basil than for beautiful fresh pesto!

I did some research on best authentic recipes, and decided to start with the recipe from Epicurious (Bon Appetit). With everything else in my pantry or fridge, I went out to Bulk Barn to grab some pine nuts (yes the price is astonishing for these wee nuts but all you need is 1/3 cup for one batch, and homemade pesto just can’t be beat!). Just blend together basil, olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, salt and Parmesan and you have your own homemade pesto.  I recommended using a food processor vs blender, as I tried using my Vitamix, but it was just too big for this size of recipe. My Cuisinart Mini Prep worked perfectly.

Recipe makes 12 heaping tablespoons of fresh pesto (approx 1 cup).

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher (coarse) salt

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Directions:

  1. Using a food processor, add basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, and puree until a paste forms. Scrape down sides as needed to get to an even consistency.
  2. Add in cheese and salt and blend until combined.
  3. Use immediately OR using an ice cube tray, fill with 1 tablespoon of pesto per cube cavity and freeze. Once frozen place in a freezer bag and defrost and use as needed for recipes (pasta, baked chicken, sauces, pizza, etc.)

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