Cookin' up a storm at Cook-A-Rama

Basil Pesto

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I fell in love with pesto the first time I was introduced to it by one of my favorite college professors. She thought it was good for us to have new food experiences, so every Friday she would have something new for us to try. I grew up with a “meat and potatoes” family, so this shocked my taste buds and they asked for more. Hope you like it as much as I do. 

Basil Pesto

3 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup pine nuts*
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3-4 garlic cloves
½ tsp salt

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender; pulse until uniform consistency, but with some texture remaining.

Use on pasta, pizza, vegetables, as a spread on sandwiches, as a filling in breads, etc.

Pesto can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for longer storage. I usually make several batches when basil is in season and relatively inexpensive at the farmers’ market.  I place them in bags to store in the freezer. If you lay the pesto flat and get all the air out of the bags, you can pile them up so it takes up very little space to store. Once it’s frozen, you can break off the amount needed for a sandwich spread, pizza, pasta, or veggies.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

*Pine nuts make this recipe great, but they are expensive.  You can replace with almonds or I even tried ½ almonds, ½ walnuts and it turned out well.

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