Sunday, September 18, 2011

Basil Pesto

Fresh basil… Bright. Flavorful. Fragrant. Yum.

As the summer comes to a close, so too does the bounty of fresh basil we planted in Jon’s yard. It’s time to harvest the remaining leaves and make one last batch of herby goodness.

I adore fresh pesto. It is so easy to make and brings incredible flavor to everything. Pasta, scrambled eggs, grilled veggies, chicken, steak, rice or pizza. It adds something lovely to every dish.

Traditional pesto calls for Parmesan cheese, which is not Laura Friendly. So I make this version which has a lot of flavor and zero dairy. It’s Vegan baby. Both gluten & dairy-free it tastes amazing. If you’ve never made a pesto, I encourage you to give it a shot. It’s a quick way to make dinner seem special, without taking a lot of extra time.

Makes: ¾ cup
start to finish: 10 minutes
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 to 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until it become a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is even better after being chilled so you may want to make this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, in an air tight container.

note: if the mixture seems too thick, continue to add up to ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, until it gets to your desired consistency

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