Making pesto is a quick and easy way to preserve basil and gain some confidence in the kitchen. Whether you grow your own basil or buy it from the store, this is a great way to preserve that fresh summer flavor to enjoy all year.
These are all types of basil I grow in my backyard and I use a combination of all of them in our pesto. You can use any type of basil that is available to you.
In addition to basil, you will need:
Parmesan cheese (we purchase pre-shredded just to make it easy)
Your choice of nuts (traditional recipes use pine nuts. We prefer almonds)
Salt of your choice
Olive Oil (or which ever type of oil you prefer)
Rinse and remove the leaves of your basil. As you can see above I don't waste my time being super picky about getting every leaf off or every little part of the stem off the leaf. Its going to taste great, trust me!
Smash your garlic and remove the skins. Don't worry about finely chopping the garlic, we're throwing this all in a food processor or blender anyway. Detailed post on how to quickly prep garlic is coming soon!
Measure out the rest of your ingredients and dump it into a blender or food processor. If you do not have a high powered blender I suggest using a food processor. We absolutely love our Vitamix blender and think it is worth the investment. Refurbished options are on their website or amazon and occasionally Costco will have them on sale.
The next step is to blend or process. You will occasionally need to stop the blender and scrap down the sides with a spatula. If you find that your blender is struggling, don't be afraid to add a splash of water or extra oil. This is the texture we like, but if you like it smoother or chunkier: GO FOR IT! Whatever you prefer. Additionally, if you want to add extra salt or garlic, that is fine too.
To preserve our pesto I spread it into this silicone mold and freeze it. In the past i have also used the traditional ice cube trays. You can find these silicone mold trays on Amazon or Thrive Market, mine creates a 1 ounce cube.
Once it is frozen, I remove it from the mold and place it in labeled and dated ziploc bags.
This is just one way we like to eat our pesto. It is delicious on chicken, salmon, scrambled eggs, avocado toast or pasta. The photo on the right is quinoa I cooked in the instant pot, topped with pesto and chopped tomatoes. Even our toddler devours this, it is sure to please!
3 c. Basil
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
3-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. almonds (or nut of choice)
1/2 tsp. salt
Wash and dry basil. Remove leaves from stems.
Smash garlic and remove husks.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Pulse or blend until desired consistency. If you are having issues with blending or processing, add a splash of water or extra oil
Serve fresh or freeze as directed above.
If you make this recipe I would love to your creations on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. Hashtag them #traditionallyterra