Making Basil Pesto
For me, the aroma of fresh basil epitomizes summer. I grow basil every year to make pesto, and preserve it to enjoy through the winter.
4 cups washed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. pine nuts or chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
Using a food processor, finely chop the basil leaves. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Serve it fresh, tossed with cooked pasta, steamed vegetables or whatever you like. Or, spoon the pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once frozen, the pesto cubes can be popped out into a freezer bag and stored. To use, thaw the cubes in a microwave on high for 20-30 seconds. This recipe makes 6-8 cubes. One cube equals one serving.
Photo credit: Tamara Muldoon