Ok, once I picked my basil plant basically bare of leaves so that it would stop getting so leggy (see previous post), it was time to make basil pesto! This is a great thing to make and toss in the refrigerator for nights when you don't feel like making a big production of dinner. I keep mine in little half-cup gladware containers (above; each half-cup contains about eight servings).
Some ideas for pesto include the following:
- Add to hot cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, and/or grilled chicken and serve with salad and crusty bread
- Drizzle over fresh mozzarella and tomatoes
- Top grilled chicken or toss with cooked shrimp for an elegant protein
Below is a recipe for pesto I use often that I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. The recipe uses less than half the oil that traditional pesto recipes incorporate; as such, you likely won't ever see this pesto separate out into oil and other ingredients - it will stay well-mixed!
Because my basil plant was so prolific, I was able to multiply this recipe eight times over. Please note that, if you make just one recipe of this pesto, you will have significantly less than these photos show.
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp. preshredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
- 4 tsp. olive oil
1. Wash basil thoroughly and pat dry.
2. Broil pine nuts in the oven on LOW until toasted.
3. Combine all ingredients except for olive oil in a Cuisinart or other food processor.
4. Pulse until well-combined.
5. Add oil, one tsp. at a time, until pesto is well-blended.