Even though Spring and Summer have yet to really arrive here in the Northeast, I have been itching to break away from the packaged and canned products from the grocery store and get back to making things fresh like I do mostly all Spring and Summer long. When I got to thinking about one of my favorite Italian sauces, dips, or spreads…I am talking about you PESTO, I realized that this particular item is something which really can be made year round. Since herbs tend to do great growing inside during the winter months, I stopped by my local Fresh Market and picked up a boatload of basil, ideally I would prefer to buy my basil from the local farmer down the street but since his farm is still buried under snow, I thought the local Fresh Market would be my next best bet. While at the market I also picked up some Pine Nuts and and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Since my family grows our own fresh garlic I didn’t need to buy any of that and so instead I stopped at the Italian Market and picked up a quarter pound of freshly grated Parmesan for the final ingredient to this fabulous homemade sauce. Making pesto really is pretty easy as long as you have a nice high-quality blender. I personally LOVE my Vitamix and swear by it for making pretty much anything.
♥ 5 garlic cloves
♥ 1/3 cup pine nuts, 2 big handfulls of basil
♥ 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese (or Nutritional Yeast to make a Vegan Pesto)
♥ 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
♥ 1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper to taste
Chop basil and garlic and blend together in your food processor. Slowly drizzle in oil & process until integrated. Add Parmigiano (or nutritional yeast if making the vegan version) & blend in with spatula. Add Sea Salt and Pepper to taste. With a rubber spatula scoop pesto out of food processor & into a glass mixing bowl.
This pesto will keep in a refrigerator for up to a week and will freeze for a very long time if you place it in an airtight container. So make a whole batch this summer so you can enjoy it all winter long. Trust me you are going to want to!