Delicious Basil Pesto

We eat a lot of pesto at our house. It is great for all kinds of things, eat it as a main dish or side with pasta, or anti-inflammatory “pasta” such as zucchini or spaghetti squash, make salad dressing or add it as a flavoring for sandwiches or eggplant, tomato, pesto bites (my replacement for pizza night). I have yet to find a store-bought version that compares to home-made and it is easy to make. I adapted a recipe from my Uncle Joe who is known for his pesto (and Eva Cassidy) dinners.

Ingredients:

  • Lots of basil – a big box is usually about 4 oz or a bit over 2 cups packed basil leaves, I use 3 or 4 boxes
  • About a 1/2 cup olive oil per 2+ cups of basil, so about 1 1/2 cups for 3 boxes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1 if it is a very large clove)
  • 2 tbs pine nuts and 1/4-1/2 cup walnuts. I also think it would be really good with pistachios, but haven’t tried that yet
  • Original recipe calls for 2-3 tbs Parmesan or pecorino cheese. Omit this for the anti-inflammatory version

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Separate the basil leaves from the stems. Put all the oil, along with leaves from one box and blend until minced. If you mix in the basil leaves in in about 3 batches, it blends more easily. With the third batch of basil leaves add the garlic, nuts and salt and blend on something like the “chop” or a medium setting, until everything is mixed. And thats it!

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Use the pesto for anything you want, and you can put the rest in the fridge for later. It usually lasts 3+ weeks in the fridge, or you can spoon it into ice cube trays to freeze and it will last months. This is my uncle’s favorite way to make sure all his delicious garden basil doesn’t go to waste! I will admit that pasta is definitely my favorite way to have pesto, but spooned over shaved zucchini as pictured below is pretty tasty.

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