Pesto is the ultimate spring food. It makes everything taste so darn fresh and tasty. I dare you not to taste it and see rainbows and flowers blooming.
Pesto is easily adjusted and incredibly easy. I usually make it with my food processor but you could do it by hand with a knife if you want a work out. 🙂 The nuts can be omitted completely or exchanged with almonds or other nuts. I actually leave it out altogether. I just prefer the taste of pesto nut free. The basil can be switched with many kinds of herbs or combination of. When making a big batch sometimes I cut the basil with about 25% parsley. The vinegar or lemon juice will help retain that bright green color and add some acidic brightness. You can find my pesto pizza sauce recipe here, the main difference is I add more olive oil for a thinner sauce and up the garlic. This is a great all purpose pesto, and my favorite. I use it on many things, even just smearing sandwiches… brushing rolls towards the end of cooking… rubbing under chicken skin when roasting.. tossing with roasted vegetables just before serving.. toss with pasta.. I don’t usually eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.. but pretty close to it 😉
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
3 T pine nuts, optional
splash lemon juice or vinegar, optional
Put everything in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Place in an airtight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate.
To freeze leave out the parmesan. Freeze in containers or ice cube trays then transfer to a ziplock.