Homemade Basil Pesto
Anyone else enjoy the savory and herbal richness of an Italian kitchen? Herbs, oils, and fresh ingredients - ahh... I'm not Italian but I had the privilege of living in Italy for 3 years and I learned so much about seasoning my food and how to prepare meals from scratch.
Several years ago I perfected a delicious pesto recipe and I want to share it with you here!
This recipe was originally published on my first blog and has over 25K views. I must share that the pesto can be made quickly in a high powered blender. I have been a proud owner of a Vitamix since 2010! (Because of its dependability, I became an affiliate. You can learn about it and the other companies I trust in my Extras tab.)
In a Vitamix, this recipe takes a few minutes from start to finish. Let's quickly review the benefits and storage first then the recipe and some dish options will follow.
Benefits: Basil is anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, detoxes the liver and is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium (WHFoods).
Storage: The leaves of fresh basil should look vibrant and be deep green in color. They should be free from dark spots or yellowing. Fresh basil should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel.
Grow your own: You can grow basil easily in small containers on your window sill. I grow mine in an aeroponic garden outdoors. Two seedlings produced SO MUCH basil. I gave a ton away. I dried some. And, I made pesto with the rest! (You can learn more about the water wise gardening system here.)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic (or more to your liking)
2 cups of fresh basil
3 T pine nuts (can substitute walnuts - that's what I used)
(Optional) Salt and Pepper to taste
Pour ingredients in the order above, set to variable low and quickly to 7. Use the tamper to push food into the blades and blend for one minute. (You can add more olive oil as needed to loosen the pesto as it blends.) Season with salt & pepper to your taste. Store in air tight containers in the fridge.
Some dish ideas:
- Pour over cooked pasta.
- Pesto-tomato paninis. (This is a family favorite!)
- Add it to grilled chicken or roasted salmon and top with sundried tomatoes.
- Pesto and veggie stuffed pitas or pizza. Use in place of or in addition to hummus instead of mayo or tomato sauce.
- Toss pesto with steamed green beans or asparagus with the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Pesto potato mash. Boil 3 pounds peeled russet potatoes until tender. Mash with 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons pesto.
These good eats options are endless if you're a fan of basil pesto.
What is your favorite pesto dish? Tell us about it!
Disclaimer: Information shared is for educational and entertainment purposes. Consult your practitioner for guidance regarding your personal health profile.
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