Classic Homemade Basil Pesto


Each year, I make sure to harvest the last of the basil in our herb garden before the first frost. My favorite way to use all that basil is in homemade pesto.  And if you have home-grown garlic as well, all the better!


You want to harvest your basil leaves before they flower or they can be bitter. Any variety of basil works in pesto, as does parsley or even mint, but I'm partial to purple Thai basil. My recipe is pretty classic and uses plenty of walnuts, fresh grated cheese, and of course basil.

Classic Homemade Basil Pesto
(makes approximately two half pint jars)

2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
5 fresh garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 cup walnuts
1 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

In food processor, pulse basil, garlic and walnuts to rough chop. With processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add cheese and pulse to just combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into mason jars and refrigerate. Freeze in ice cube trays for longer storage.

That's it! I love tossing the pesto with fresh pasta, but it's also good on grilled salmon, on fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwiches or mixed into mayonnaise. 





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10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I've never tried, I think I would stick to freezing it.

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  2. Everybody is making pesto recently ... and why not? pesto is the besto (ok, a played out rhyme, I know)

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    Replies
    1. Haha! It's an awesome way to use up any leftover basil and it freezes so well.

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  3. My Basil has bolted already. Do you think I can still use some of it?

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    Replies
    1. Sure. I would give it a try.It might be a bit bitter is all.

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  4. I love making pesto hummus and dipping lightly salted cucumbers in it! Yum!

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  6. We are just now starting to get some cooler nights, so I decided to go ahead and pick all my basil while it still looked perfect. I remembered this post and decided to try your recipe. I have never made or eaten pesto before, but I figured it had to be good with the ingredients that are used to make it. I just made this to go over some pasta for dinner tonight and it is fantastic! I dipped a few pita chips in it just to have a taste and I can hardly wait to serve it tonight! YUM!!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I love that I now have a way to use up all my basil before the frost gets it.

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  7. When you measure the basil, do you pack as much in as you can, or do you leave it loose?

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