Monday, June 9, 2008

Sweet Basil Pesto

With Summer in full swing here in Alabama the beautiful produce is starting to fill our markets. There is never a better time to eat Fresh and Healthy than in the summer so much goodness to choose from. My favorite thing to grow and eat is basil, it's just not quite summer until you have nice fresh basil. This weekend I harvested my basil and OH MY I had a ton! So when life give you basil you make pesto of course.

Pesto is a sauce that originates in the city of Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto alla genovese). The name comes from pestâ "to pound, to crush", from the Latin root pestle (traditionally made with mortar and pestle), in reference to the crushed herbs and garlic in the sauce. Pesto is traditionally used on pasta but I love to use it on everything from pizza to sandwiches.

Sweet Basil Pesto
servings: Makes about 1 1/3 cups.


3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts - i used almonds because I had them on hand
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop.

  • Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

Pesto keeps, its surface covered with plastic wrap, chilled, 1 week and is easily frozen to enjoy all winter

Chicken Pesto Pizza with sun dried tomatoes, olives and mushrooms
Angel Hair with Fresh Pesto and Sauteed Garlic Shrimp click for recipe

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