Pesto is one of my absolute favorite sauces to use, it is so fresh and versatile. Many think that pesto is just made for pasta well let me tell you there are so many ways to use it I literally keep a jar in my fridge at all time!
This spring I planted several varieties of basil in my raised garden from Genoa to Thai and traditional basil. I could not wait to make some fresh pesto when the plants started producing enough for me to get a solid 2 cups worth without completely depleting my plants. The flavor blend is amazing, Basil is definitely one of my favorite herbs.
With its fresh herbaceous flavor basil pesto is perfect as a sauce base for a white pizza, veggie dip, puff pastry appetizers with goat cheese and as a sandwich spread. OMG a caprese sandwich with fresh French baguette smeared with this tasty sauce layered with slices of fresh tomato and mozzarella. No words can explain it, simply perfect. It is the perfect sandwich for a nice picnic outside to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Well many other parts of the US can enjoy since AZ is going to be 117 this weekend. (insert frowny face here, LOL!!)
So your imagination is the limit when using this sauce so experiment with the deliciousness and most of all enjoy!
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into a blender and pulse a several times.
Add the garlic and Parmesan cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
While the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running.
Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the blender.
Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.