With summertime in full swing, you probably have a vegetable garden that’s popping with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, basil, pea, green beans and more. While our garden was delayed over here this season, it is finally up and running.
I’m thrilled (THRILLED!) to report that we made a lot of progress over the last month that I’ve been sharing on my Instagram stories @sugarmaplefarmhouse. We were able to get in everything I wanted and I’m getting ready now to do another planting of lettuce since it has such a short growth cycle.
I appreciate that we’ve been able to squeeze some green goodness out of the garden this season since we’ve had an abridged season. One of my favorite items to grow has been basil. I love delicious, simple, fresh, home-grown basil. It always has so much more flavor than the store. In fact, if you have garden basil and store-bought basil next to one another, you can smell the difference. You can taste it too.
Since I’m Italian, I like to use basil in pretty much everything. From salads to sandwiches to pizza and pasta to Thai dishes and more, it’s one of those herbs that just works with a variety of cuisines and flavors.
In the spirit of keeping it simple, I wanted to share my recipe for fresh basil pesto. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it’s the perfect way to add full flavor to multiple dishes.
And…it was the first recipe we use to launch our YouTube channel! Check out the video below and subscribe for weekly recipes.
Get the full recipe below and see a few of the ways we use this in simple meals.
- It’s very important that you use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe versus just olive oil. I know it’s a premium ingredient but it adds a better flavor to the pesto.
- For the basil, I often use the leaves and the stems. The stems can be just as flavorful as the leaves if you’re picking this fresh from your garden or getting it from a farmer’s market. I like to remove the large ones, but I’m not overly fussy about having them attached when I toss them into the food processor.
- You can store this for about a week or two in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it. Freeze it in ice cube trays to instantly melt into any dish.
Basil Pesto Recipe
Basil Pesto Ingredients
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Basil Pesto Instructions
- Chop garlic to make it a little easier to process. Then add it to the blender.
- Add your basil to you blender or food processor. You can add the stems and all if you like.
- Add pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Blend.
- Once blended, use a spoon to scrape the side of the blender or food processor. Make sure to push everything down and then blend again until well combined. It should have a thick consistency but be well blended together.
- Serve with bread, on pasta, as part of bruschetta, over zucchini noodles and in so many more ways!