We’re in the heat of summer and there’s an abundance of basil in my herb pots! Sounds like it’s time to make some pesto – don’t worry, this is the easiest no-cook sauce in the world and will make you look like a Food Network Star! Pesto is a versatile sauce that can be used on hot or cold pastas, chicken, fish, pizza, etc. Start with this super-simple recipe and then let your imagination take you to some tasty places…
- 25-30 Fresh Basil Leaves, Washed & Dried
- 1 Small Handful Fresh Parsley
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- In a food processor (I have a small one) place basil, parsley and whole garlic cloves. Pulse several times until chopped evenly.
- Add olive oil and then pulse again until evenly blended. Mixture will not be smooth, but herbs and garlic will be finely chopped.
- Add pine nuts and Parmesan and pulse until mixed thoroughly.
- Toss with warm pasta and/or spoon over cooked chicken or fish. The recipe above is good for about 8 ounces of pasta, so you may need to double it for a family meal.
See, I told you this was easy! I tossed my pesto with bowtie pasta and peas and served with grilled marinated chicken thighs. Try it as a base for pizza or a dollop in your tomato soup. There are a ton of possibilities and a little can go a long way to add a burst of fresh flavor to your recipes. Also, consider variations of basic pesto by using different herbs and nuts. What about walnuts with chives and parsley? Add a little lemon zest and juice to brighten the flavor – especially with fish. You can also alter the amount of olive oil depending on your preference and flavor intensity you like. Any way you make it, enjoy it all summer and fall while you have a great supply of fresh herbs!!