We had a boatload of basil come in from our 12 plants and between drying it and using fresh, we still had lots leftover. So Pesto it is!
I’ve never been much of a pine nut fan, so for Pesto, I much prefer to use walnuts. However, the lovely thing about Pesto is you can really almost use whatever nut you’d like.
I love how flexible Pesto is. You can add or subtract the ingredients to get a Pesto that is perfect for your desired needs and taste. We love garlic l, so we used a lot, but if you’re not a big garlic fan, remove some. Same with almost every other ingredient, it’s wonderful!
5 cups fresh basil (5 large handfuls)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2-3/4 cups olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 tbsp lemon juice
8-10 garlic cloves
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
1. Clean and wring the basil so that it’s barely damp.
2. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan until they are fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn or get too dark.
3. Add the basil, walnuts, cheese, garlic cloves, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend everything until it’s chopped but not smooth.
4. Start adding the olive oil while the blender is running. We made two batches, one with 1/2 cups and one with 3/4 of oil. The more oil, the thinner the pesto. How much you add in the end is really up to you and your needs and preferences. Drizzle in the oil as the mixture blends to get a good, smooth-ish consistency.
5. Add the pepper and salt. This is another good time to add in small bits and taste as you go. You may want more or less salt and pepper, so taste and add as you blend.
6. Use a spatula or spoon to make sure everything is blended and well combined. Blend more if needed.
7. Use the Pesto right away or keep it in the refrigerator for later. You can also freeze it!