Garden Basil Pesto

This recipe is quick, easy and never fails to impress. Classic pesto in Italy is typically made with pine nuts (pignoli), however I love substituting walnuts, pistachios or a even combination of the three at times – the options are unlimited! Here’s my version:

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Ingredients

1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp chopped garlic (8 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves*
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino

*Different varieties of basil work great. I enjoy combining Italian and cinnamon basil together, especially when complementing pasta.

Instructions

  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the walnuts and garlic for 30 seconds.
  • Add all the basil leaves, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice to the walnuts and garlic.
  • With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the open tube and process for about 1 minute or until pureed.
  • Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses and puree for an additional 30 seconds.

Yield: 4 cups

Storing

Store the pesto in a refrigerator for up to a week and in a freezer for up to six months.

Tip: I recently purchased this king size rubber ice cube tray which is great for freezing individual portions. You can enjoy pesto all year round.

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One response to “Garden Basil Pesto

  1. Pingback: Caprese Salad – Deconstructed | Avant Garden Food·

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