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.
(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.
I would love for you to join me here...