Pesto is one of my all-time favorite foods and reminds me that sunny summers are just around the corner. I really like to have enough in the freezer to use until the next summer harvest. It freezes really well and can be frozen with or without the nuts and cheese added. I usually add them at serving time.
Pesto is great on toast, added to minestrone soup, topping for baked potatoes, on grilled or baked chicken or fish, atop steamed vegetables or our family favorite; sautéed vegetables and chicken, pesto on top of steaming hot whole grain pasta. Pass the Parmesan, please.
6 cloves of garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, pinenuts or walnuts, finely chopped
In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the cheese and nuts. Process the mixture in short bursts until it is smooth. It should not be soupy. If it is too oily, you can add more basil. If it’s too dry add a little more oil. Scrape down the sides as you work. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in parmesan cheese and nuts. Place in a covered container and chill. It will last up to a week in the refrigerator.