Like many home cooks, do you start to sweat when you pass the fresh basil in the grocery store during the summer months?
Okay, maybe you don’t actually sweat. That would be weird. But it might be in the back of your mind that perhaps you (you!) would like to make homemade pesto with said basil. Fresh pesto that could lovingly coat each slippery strand of noodle or dribble off the sides of a chicken breast, hot off the grill. Fresh pesto that could keep in the freezer for up to three months. Fresh basil that could classify you as a real chef because real chefs make their own sauces by scratch and you can surely do that as well.
Making homemade pesto is something that runs in our blood. We know we should take advantage of the basil bounty every summer. Our ancestors wouldn’t have left such things to go to waste. Neither would Laura. And you know how I feel about that.
It’s not hard, people. Really!
First, gather your ingredients.
Once you have your ingredients you can really wing it. It’s hard to mess this up….trust me, I’ve tried. However, for those of you out there with a slight hint of OCD, I’ll go through it step by step so I don’t get hate mail telling me that I ruined your husband’s boss’s dinner party or your child’s third birthday.
Into your VitaMix, food processor or just plain ol’ blender, throw in three cups of packed basil leaves, 3 garlic cloves (or in my case, 2 tsp chopped garlic) and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
Blend on high until everything is smooth and combined. And now, with the blender running on low, slowly stream in 1/3 cup olive oil and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Taste, and then add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (small handful), 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Whirl that puppy one more time to get the end result.
Ain’t it purdy? I love that vibrant green color.
Keep covered in the fridge for up to one week or freeze for three months. A little goes a long way with this guy so usually, if I’m just feeding myself, I only use about two tablespoons on my pasta, chicken or salmon. This recipe is enough to feed a crowd. Think of it like hummus.
feeds about six
3 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves
Combine the basil, garlic and two tablespoons of the oil in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until everything is smooth
and combined. Then, with the blender on low speed, slowly stream in the remaining oil, along with the lemon juice and the cheese. Taste and then
season with the salt and pepper.
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