Every year I grow a pot of sweet basil on the back deck, and this year I’m growing several varieties. Two common green, one purple and one variegated purple. So what do you do with all that basil?
Yup, I should have kept the plant markers, as now I don’t know the exact names. With my bumper crops, I’ve been making a batch of pesto every weekend.
It’s so delicious, freezes easily and can be simply smeared on bread, topped on grilled chicken or fish, or stirred into a pasta recipe. Pictured is an appetizer platter I took to a friend’s house when we were invited over for a barbeque. Sliced baguette, fresh tomatoes from my garden, fresh homemade mozzarella and a bowl of homemade fresh basil pesto in the middle. This was a hit and didn’t last long at the party.
I’ve always used this simple recipe for homemade fresh basil pesto.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse and dry the fresh basil leaves. Combine basil with the toasted pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse again two more times.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Fresh Basil Pesto…It’s What’s for an Appetizer.