Basil Pesto - Summer Staple

Nothing beats basil pesto, especially when it is made fresh in the summer with lots of extra virgin olive oil and tons of garlic. I use it on pastas, as a spread on sandwiches, as a base for pizza, to add something extra to omelets...the list is endless! And the recipe is simple:

In a food processor combine a cup and a half fresh basil leaves and 4 to 5 large garlic cloves and 3 TBSP of a hard, sharp cheese such as Parmesan. With the processor on, drizzle in olive oil until the pesto reaches the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you like, to brighten the flavor. You can also pulse in toasted pine nuts, but I never seem to have them on hand.

The great thing about this simple spread is that it freezes well, so if you need to use up some basil on its way out, this is the way to go!

Fresh pesto, ready to be popped in the freezer for future use.


  1. And best of all is to grow a pot of your very own basil. At the beginning of summer I plant one little basil starter in a container on my deck. The more you harvest, the more it grows; it's still going strong in September, and my freezer is filled with recipe-size portions of pesto. BTW, if you don't have pignoli, try walnuts!

  2. Marie--that is the next thing I need to do! Now that we have a teeny tiny yard, some gardening is definitely in order. I will have to try walnuts next time!