Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garden Fresh Pesto

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I walk by my pot of herbs and nearly swoon from the smell of the basil every time.

Basil tastes great in everything from pasta to lemon cookies (just try it!). But my all time favorite thing to do with basil is make pesto. 

If I have tons of basil, I'll make a triple batch and freeze a bunch in labeled freezer bags and it lasts all winter long. Now hear me on this one.
 There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than eating Garden Fresh Pesto in the middle of a snow packed, ice covered winter day. 


This is a simple recipe. You can use pine nuts if you want, you can also use macadamia nuts. And if you have a nut allergy in the family feel free to substitute the nuts for white beans. Use a drained and rinsed can of white beans and substitute the same amount. The flavor and consistency are so close that you won't even miss the nuts (or the trip to the emergency room if there really is an allergy!) Plus using beans will lower the fat and increase the amount of fiber.. you can't go wrong with that!

Enjoy and freeze this summer day forever with a batch of Garden Fresh Pesto!

On with the recipe! Happy sunshine to you and yours!

Garden Fresh Pesto
1 Cup Walnuts
7 Large Cloves Garlic
4 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4-1/2 Cup Fresh Italian Olive Oil
1. In a food processor add the walnuts, garlic, basil leaves (really pack them in there) and the parmesan cheese.
2. Turn on the food processor and begin pouring in the olive oil. Start with 1/4 cup and see if you need more. The consistency should be that of a smooth paste (think hummus or baking soda toothpaste). It should be smooth, but not watery or loose. If need be add additional olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time as you process. Scrape down the bowl of the processor once or twice throughout.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and give it one more whirl for a few seconds to incorporate!

4. Seal tightly in a jar and use immediately! This can also be put into zip lock bags and frozen for up to 4 months! I love to do this in the summer and in the dead of winter I thaw a package and make summer fresh pesto pasta just to remind us that the ground does thaw.

Servings: 30-33 (1 tbsp. per serving)

Nutritional Skinny:

 107 calories / 4.5 g fat / .6 g carbohydrates / .4 g fiber / 1.2 g protein

Mental Health Tid Bit: For me there is nothing that feels better than making a lot of something yummy that will help me build meals in a hurry some day in the future when I may be tired, frazzled, over worked, or just plain exhausted. This pesto freezes for up to 4-5 months and can be thawed quickly in luke warm water and added to your favorite whole wheat pasta and some chicken and you have an instant home made meal. Having this around is like having a winning lotto ticket hanging around... it provides me comfort and security. Hopefully it will do the same for you!


Julie said...

hello! i found your blog via facebook, searching for other food bloggers. this pesto looks delicious! i look forward to reading more of your posts!

Hot Mess Cooking said...

Julie - Thanks for stopping by! So glad you found me! Your blog is great too! Oregon and Montana aren't too far away! Blog ON! :)