This weekend we harvested our first vegetables from that garden! We have been picking lettuce for a while, but this week our peas and tomatoes were finally ripe enough to pick. The whole garden has gotten quite out of control, so we had to cut back a few things, including our basil plants. We couldn't eat the basil fast enough, and it's like Medusa, you cut one stem and 2 grow back in its place. So, I decided we would make pesto.Which would go amazingly with this recipe.
Yields 2.5 cups of fresh pesto
1/2 pound of basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cups walnut halves
1-1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (you can add more if you like garlic but I'm not a huge fan)
Heat walnuts and pine nuts in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown and give off a rich, toasty fragrance. Stir or toss frequently for even toasting. Remove from pan to cool.
Chop the garlic cloves finely, sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on top and mash to a fine paste with a fork.
Place garlic and half of the basil leaves in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.
Add the rest of the basil leaves and with the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
Add the Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts and puree for one more minute.
You can use it the right away. If you’re going to store pesto for a short period of time, place in a jar with a thin film of olive oil on top. You can also divide it into 1-cup portions and store in the freezer for a few months. Make sure to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
*If you don't have a food processor you can use a good quality blender, just make sure to finely chop everything before hand. If you want this to be vegan friendly just omit the cheese.