Is there such thing as too much fresh basil? I can’t eat enough caprese salads or pasta to keep up with the amount of basil growing in our backyard!
Making a batch of pesto is the easiest way to use up plenty of fresh basil before it goes bad.
Here are some of my favourite ways to enjoy pesto:
- Pasta Sauce – Mix a few spoonfuls with EVOO and toss with a bowl of fresh pasta.
- Damn good chicken marinade – Marinate chicken in 1/4C pesto, 1/4C chopped sundried tomatoes, a handful of cherry tomatoes, 1/4C toasted pine nuts, and dash of balsamic vinegar.
- As a spread on sandwiches or wraps.
- BBQ Roasted Veggie – Mix pesto with chopped veggies before placing on BBQ.
- Portobello Mushrooms – Marinate large portobello mushrooms in a mixture of pesto, balsamic, and honey. Grill for 8 minutes per side on a medium heat BBQ. Top with a healthy dose of burrata cheese and a sprinkling of pecans and peaches.
If you have a food processor, this recipe will take 1.5 minutes from start to finish. But if you’re living in an apartment and are pressed for space and don’t have room for one (or a blender/ hand-held chopper) then warm-up your muscles because a good old mortar-and-pestle will do!
Yield: 1 cup of Pesto
- 3 C of fresh basil
- 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C walnuts
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tbps of lemon rind, finely grated
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- A generous grind of black pepper
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 5 tbsp high quality olive oil
- If using a food processor – Add all ingredients into food processor except olive oil. Pulse for a few seconds until thick clumps begin to form (5 seconds). With the food processor running, slowly begin to pour in olive oil. Continue adding until mixture no longer resembles a ‘paste’ but more of a thick liquid.
- If doing by hand – grind basil using mortar-and-pestle. Finely chop all other ingredients separately. Combine basil and chopped ingredients in a stainless steel bowl. Whisk in olive oil. (You want to whisk fairly fast to thoroughly get the olive oil incorporated with the other ingredients. You’ll know you’ve done a good job if the ingredients don’t separate after sitting in the fridge for a day.)
- Store in airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.
TIP! Freeze single portions in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer cubes to large Ziploc bag. You can store these in the freezer for a few months. You can easily throw a frozen cube into your pot when making pasta sauce for a quick weeknight dinner!
We’d love to see you try our recipes. Tag #mindovermarmalade and get cooking!