Basil pesto is our family favorite. It is made with fresh simple ingredients. It is so delicious and flavorful that instantly it elevates your meal. It can be used to enhance the taste of roasted veggies to pasta, grilled cheese, quesadilla.... and what not. We spread it on dosa too. Spring and summer are the best for the bounty of fresh herbs. Picking fresh basil whenever you want just right out of your garden makes even more flavorful pesto. The word pesto may sound fancy and special but is very simple to make and hardly takes a few minutes to make.
This pesto is made with few and simple ingredients. I have been using this recipe for over 15 years. Traditionally, pine nuts are used for pesto, but we like using walnuts. Any nut can be used and it gives a slight variation in taste and texture too. If you want to make a nut-free or vegan version, just omit the nuts and Parmesan, and it is great too. I have tried that version too. This pesto is enough to flavor 1 lb box pasta (cook time according to the instructions on the box).
It is easy to grow basil and continues to produce till fall. By the way, do you know basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes? Both the plants flourish well. Try planting together and also try this simple and flavor-packed pesto recipe too. I am pretty sure that you will agree that homemade fresh basil pesto is infinite times tastier than store-bought ones.
Also, you can freeze this for up to six months. Just add a couple of more teaspoons of olive oil on top of the pesto, close the jar tight and freeze. for defrosting, I take it out of the freezer and leave it overnight in the refrigerator and it is all good to go.
makes 1 cup
Basil - 2 cups, medium packed
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Balsamic vinegar - 2 tsp
Olive oil- 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/3 cup, toasted
Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
Garlic 2 cloves
Add all the ingredients in the food processor and run a couple of times.
Then add the olive oil and run for a couple of minutes. Check and adjust salt according to your taste.
Transfer to an airtight container.
Serve with your favorite pasta and/or veggies. Refrigerate until needed.