Kooking with Kristin: Fresh Basil Pesto!

Every year in the last couple years, we have been planting basil in the garden to make pesto!  We love it mixed in with Alfredo sauce on pasta, but other ways to use it:  on fresh bread topped with tomato and cheese and broiled in the oven for a great appetizer.  Use on potatoes, pita chips, small amount on top of a chicken breast, small layer between standard lasagna recipe, etc.  Throwing everything in a food processor is the best part!  We typically have a few rounds of this recipe based on the amount of basil we have, so I typically get a bowl ready of the ingredients and my husband, Dean, runs the food processor.  It makes for a great system!  Thanks to our cousin Kristina's helpful hint, we love to spray an ice cube tray with cooking spray, fill each ice pocket with pesto an freeze to be very convenient individual-use-sized cubes.

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe (makes 1 cup)

  • (2) cups fresh basil Leaves, packed
  • (1/2) cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese for stronger flavor)
  • (1/2) cup extra virgin olive oil
  • (1/3) cup pine nuts or walnuts (I typically use chopped pecans for a personal preference)
  • (3) medium sized garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • We use Ice cube trays sprayed with light cooking spray to freeze pesto when done

  • Combine all ingredients, except the olive oil, into the food processor.
  • Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
  • Stop and scrape the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  • Put into ice cube trays and place in the freezer.
  •  Freeze, then remove the cubes of pesto from the trays and store in a freezer bag.
 Now the cubes are ready to pull out for individual uses throughout the year!!  Yummy!  XXOO, Kristin

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