Basil Pesto (you must make this!)

Basil Pesto (you must make this!)

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It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about…. yes, you’re right! It’s time for PESTO! My basil is growing out of control as usual this time of year and it needs to be used. I make several large batches of pesto throughout summer and freeze it in ice cube trays. I place the frozen pieces in a large freezer bag and pull it out as needed. Last year’s final August batch lasted me until April or May.

I put pesto in or on lots of things. I have used it in place of pizza sauce for homemade pizza (before going paleo, that is). I put it in rice or pasta for my son, my zucchini or squash “noodles”, soups, salmon, chicken, ┬ápork chops, and the list goes on. You must try this!

(Makes nearly 1 cup of pesto)

2-3 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried well
2 TB toasted pine nuts (you can use walnuts, pistachios, or cashews but pine nuts are best, in my opinion)
3 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit this if doing Paleo or Whole 30)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil (the good kind)
Freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 tsp)

In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt. Puree well. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until combined. Season with pepper.

This can be used right away or you can store it in the fridge for 3-6 days (put plastic wrap on the surface of the pesto to keep it nice and green and be sure it is in an airtight container). You can also freeze it for about a month or so. Just place the date on your container or baggy of when it expires.

I put this in pasta, on salmon or tilapia, & I use it on homemade pizza in place of pizza sauce. Give it a try. I dare you!

Great tip: Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and grab one when you need it for soup, pasta, fish, etc. That way, you don’t waste!

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