homemade pesto

You may remember me mentioning my overabundance of basil in my recent post on pesto roasted chicken, and how I mentioned that I made a metric ton of pesto with my zillion cups of basil. I thought I would share my recipe and methodology.

One note about the recipe: The recipe I used called for pine nuts, but you could also substitute walnuts. But whatever you do, please don’t waste five dollars’ worth of pine nuts by toasting them on the stove, looking away for a moment, and burning all of them. My pesto did not contain nuts of any kind (possibly because I made this mistake, but I’ll never tell), and I also omitted the parmesan cheese since I was freezing the pesto. If you’re using pesto fresh, feel free to add parmesan or romano cheese, and experiment with the nuts.

Homemade Pesto
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes 1 cup pesto
Note: If you are freezing the pesto, the lemon juice helps keep the basil from oxidizing in the freezer.

You will need:
2 cloves garlic
2 cups washed and dried fresh basil leaves
1/4-1/2 c, olive oil
Juice of half a lemon (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor, process the garlic until minced well. Add basil and a small amount of olive oil, processing until smooth between each addition. Once the basil has all been added, add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Store in the refrigerator up to one week.

To freeze: Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Spoon pesto into the tray and freeze. Life plastic wrap from tray and store frozen cubes in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer. Defrost before using.

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