Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto

Fresh pesto has got to be one of the best sauces, especially in the summer. It’s fragrant, flavorful and don’t forget pretty! In the spring, I planted a big box of basil for this very reason. I love picking some fresh basil from my plant and throwing it right in the food processor for a quick batch. Basil is the main ingredient of pesto. It’s a great way to get a significant amount of it in a creative and yummy way. 

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Some health benefits of basil/pesto:

-Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties

-Can help detoxify the liver

-Provides Vitamin A and magnesium

Pretty powerful stuff!

Add to veggies, pastas, chicken, shrimp, quinoa, eggs….the list goes on! Make a big batch and freeze the extra in ice cube trays or silicone molds for later! Once they’re frozen seal them into zip lock bags for the freezer. Now you have a pre-made sauce for quick weeknight meals. When you’re cooking, throw a cube into the pan. So easy!

I use a mini food processor for sauces and dressings like this. It’s great at blending everything up very finely. If you use a larger blender or food processor, you end up losing some of the ingredients to the big bowl or container. I’ve had my mini food processor for 8 years and it’s got plenty of life left in it!

Fresh Homemade Pesto
 
Recipe type: Dressing/Sauce
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in the oven or in a pan
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • silicone molds for freezing - where to get
  • mini food processor - where to get
Instructions
  1. Put your basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and toasted pine nuts in the food processor. Blend for about a minute. Add more olive oil if it’s too thick. It should be a little runny and not too pasty.
  2. A little tip: you do not need to add salt because the parmesan cheese is very salty. I learned that the hard way!