Growing season for fresh basil is usually in the spring and summer months when it’s warmer outside. However, you can find basil at farmer’s markets or grocery stores during the fall and winter because it’s also grown in green houses or hydroponically. Fresh basil has an aroma that’s all of its own and in my opinion could be used as perfume, it’s so fragrant. This lovely herb can be used in so many ways, but the first thing that comes to my mind when it comes to fresh basil is homemade Pesto Sauce.
Pesto Sauce is one of those things you can dollop on anything from fish to chicken and roasted vegetables or soups. The combination of herbs with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic and a dash of oil makes this spread so versatile, and easy to prepare in your food processor.
I know Pesto Sauce is available in a jar in most stores, however when it’s made fresh by you, it’s better – different. The ground basil just pops with freshness and you can really taste it. Also by making your own, you can control the amount of oil added which I think is so important because many of the store-bought versions add an unnecessary amount and skimp on the other ingredients.
Within minutes you can have a fresh batch of Pesto Sauce to have on hand ready to toss with pasta or spoon over protein. Make sure you stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe using my fresh pesto sauce!
3 cups fresh basil, stems and leaves
2 heaping tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 heaping tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil + more for storing
(Makes 1 cup)
- In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture looks coarse, about 15 times.
- Turn processor On, and add oil in a slow stream until it just begins to come together. Remove lid and spoon into bowl.
- Use pesto sauce right away or add a small amount of olive oil to surface and cover with plastic wrap (it won’t turn brown). Enjoy!