A delicious basil pesto is a beautiful and essential addition to everything from a Caprese salad or pasta dish to a mouthwatering Italian panini or anitpasto platter. We carry fresh, organic Basil in our produce department year-round, but there’s something about pesto that seems especially wonderful in the summertime!
Here’s our recipe for basil pesto:
- 3 cups basil leaves
- 3/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts or pine nuts
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon juice (optional)
Combine basil, nuts and garlic cloves in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl down once and run it through a second pulse in order to get a uniform consistency. Once you’ve combined these ingredients, and while the food processor is running, drizzle olive oil into the mixture. The amount of oil you use will vary, but the consistency should be that of a thin paste (or how you prefer). Remember, you can always add more oil, but not take it out! Once oil is blended in, turn food processor off. Stir in the parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper to taste. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add a touch of brightness to the pesto (optional).
As a side note, we’ve made pesto with walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews and brazil nuts…you can’t go too wrong with any one of these nuts, but toasting them lightly before adding them to the pesto is an easy way to add a depth of flavor.
Storage tips: refrigerate immediately in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze in an ice cube tray. Pop out cubes of pesto a little ahead of time, and let them defrost in the fridge or in a sealed container on the countertop without added heat.