In college one of the only tolerable foods in the cafeteria was pesto pasta. Therefore I overdid it a bit and haven’t really touched it since. I figured 7 years was a good enough time to give it a try again and I’m happy to say I’m fully on the pesto bandwagon again (hopefully sans the Freshman 15 this time around).
My mom’s garden had an abundance of basil, so a collected as much as I could and got to work! Pesto is so amazing because it’s so easy to make, freezes really well and tastes SO GOOD. My Sundays lately have been devoted to making seasonal food for this winter (tomato sauce, tomato soup, frozen fresh fruit) and figured why not add pesto to the list? It easily sells for $7+ for a small bottle, and ingredients are relatively cheap and easy to come across… so grab your blender, Tupperwares and get to work!
- 4 cups packed basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- Combine basil, pine nuts and basil in a blender or food processor (depending on how good your blender is, you may want to mince garlic first and pulse with nuts, then add basil).
- Slowly drizzle in 1 cup olive oil until full combined.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- If using immediately mix in remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and cheese and enjoy!
- If freezing, transfer to a Tupperware and cover with remaining oil. When ready to enjoy thaw and stir in cheese.
*This recipe is great to use half now and freeze half for later. I highly recommend using scotch tape and a Sharpie to mark what it is in the Tupperware plus any directions you’ll need when consuming (ex: Pesto: Add in 1/2 cup Pecorino Cheese – 9/7/14). Also don’t forget the date!
Looking for some yummy ways to use pesto? Check out some ideas below:
- Mix into hummus for a fun twist!
- Add chopped veggies (zucchini, cherry tomatoes, etc.) to pesto pasta
- Brush rustic bread with pesto and top with provolone or white cheddar for a gourmet grilled cheese!
- Use lemon juice and pesto as a marinade for chicken
- Top your morning eggs with a dollop of pesto and roasted tomatoes
- Replace pizza sauce with pesto (top with pancetta and mozzarella)
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