Hot days & cool nights.
Bare feet & bathing suits.
Tomatoes & basil.
Summer in a nutshell.
The smells of basil is something I remember vividly from when I was little. It is such a unique smell, there’s really nothing I like to compare it to. The act of making pesto follows that memory as well. You didn’t really smell the garlic (unless you were peeling it) until you turned the blender on. Then the aroma was intoxicating. I could eat it with a spoon.
I have a whole row of basil in my garden and I’ve been making pesto a few times a week since I’ve been able to start harvesting it. I made A LOT of pesto during the winter with kale, parsley or some other greens but I saved the basil for the hot season. I always want it to remind me of summer.
3 c fresh basil, packed down for best measurement
1/2 c walnuts or pignolis
1/3 c nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese if not vegan)
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c olive oil
Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in your blender except oil.
Turn on and begin to stream in oil while the blender is running, through the top opening.
You might not need to add all of the oil if everything starts to blend smoothly but don’t hesitate to add more if it’s still not quite there yet! Pesto isn’t a science; you’ll find the perfect amount for your taste.
Taste, add pepper and salt. Start out with 1/4 teaspoon salt and blend, taste again. Lack of proper salting kills me, especially with pasta dishes. Salt your food! It’s not going to kill you (sodium from processed food might kill you though).
Any leftover pesto should be stored immediately as pesto made with basil turns brown quickly, when exposed to the air. I usually press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface so it keeps it from getting really brown in the fridge. Another idea is too pour the pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze it. When you want to use it, take out as many cubes as you need and let them defrost. No waste! I always remember my Mom and Nana having pesto cubes in the freezer. Just make sure you cover the ice cube tray or put it in a plastic bag so no stray food falls in it.