Pesto Sauce Recipe

In the “about” tab on my blog I state in the very last paragraph that I spend summers trying to keep up with Huz and since my last post that is what I have been up to.  Holy cow he is a whirl wind at times, between the bees, 2 acre garden (which is really coming along), house remodel projects, beer brewing, and putting up food it has been crazy.    As a result I have lots of good posts coming because we have started to put up beans, make pesto, dehydrate blueberries, can pickles…the list goes on.

Let’s get to this pesto recipe.  This post is for Huz’s Gram, each year she gives us a subscription to Taste of Home.  Usually this magazine is hit or miss with recipes since we like 1 ingredient foods, but this recipe was a little golden treasure I discovered a few years back.   Initially I just clipped it and it sat in a stack of “have to try” recipes.  A couple of years ago Huz was knee-deep in his masters project building chem models, we had a ton of basil in the garden, and I was feeling experimental.  So I hunted thru my stack until I found the recipe, gave it a try, and it has been a staple ever since.  If you don’t have basil you can easily find at your local farmers market or grocery store.

Ingredients: Yield is 1/2 cup.

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or sunflower kernels/nuts (I use salted sunflower nuts that I get from the grocery store)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled (I just use my pampered chef garlic press and press in one clove, I find it mixes better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (I actually add 1/4 but that is only due to my love of pepper)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (if you have the pampered chef microplaner use it, it gets the cheese nice and fine)

Pesto 1

Directions:

Cut the basil leaves from the stem.  The rinse and drain water, I usually throw mine in the salad spinner to get excess water off.  (NOTE:  In this picture the amount of basil leaves I have is for about 6 batches, which is how many I made and froze, these directions are for one batch as that is all that my food processor can hold at a time.)

pesto 2

Next pull out your food processor, measure all the ingredients in to the processor.  For the garlic the recipe says to add a clove, but I like to add a crushed clove.  I have found that the garlic does not incorporate as well if left whole.  Other than that once all the ingredients are added turn on and food process for a like 30 seconds until well blended.  See before and after pictures below.

pesto 3

If using fresh, enjoy the fruits of your labor… If freezing pour into your freezer container.  Note from the Taste of Home Recipe “When freezing the pesto, leave about 3/4 inch in the top of the container, then cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil, so the pesto doesn’t brown during freezing.”  Below is a picture of my freezer container, if you look closely you can see my thin layer of olive oil drizzled over the top.  I freeze mine up to a year.  ENJOY

pesto 4

Tips:

  • This 1/2 cup batch makes about the perfect size pesto meal for about 4-5 people, maybe even more depending on the recipe.
  • Goes great tossed with spaghetti noodles, topped with some grilled chicken and served with french bread and fresh fruit. – This recipe is Grandma approved (my Grandma).  Will blog about it in the future, but needed to give you this base recipe first.
  • One of the meals I want to try is a pesto pizza, let me know if any of you have a great recipe for this.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions!  Enjoy ~ Megan

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