Pesto – So can I start by saying pesto is something that was not normally featured in traditional Southern recipes. Pesto is originally from Genoa, Italy. Pesto traces its name to the Italian word “pestare,” which means “to crush or pound.” For hundreds of years, pesto was made by pounding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. It dates back from Roman times when Genoans would crush walnuts with herbs and garlic.
The most popular variety of pesto now is made by “crushing” basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil and some hard cheese in a food processor or blender. There are so many varieties of pesto – such as sun dried tomato pesto, kale pesto, cilantro pesto, basil pesto, walnut pesto, and/or pistachio pesto, While it is fun to use a mortar and pestle, the modern way is much easier and so much less work. I love to use my Ninja Food Processor when making pesto. It beats using the mortal and pestle by meets and bounds.
One of my favorite things about summer is the bounty of fresh herbs that I grow in containers around my patio. There is just something about growing fresh herbs that makes my heart happy. Probably because they are super easy to grow and don’t take much work to maintain. One of my favorite herbs to grow is fresh basil. And with this beautiful bundle of basil, I love to make homemade pesto. Yes, it is super easy to just buy a jar of pesto from your local supermarket. However, the homemade pesto outshines the jar pesto hand down.
There are so many ways to use pesto in your everyday recipes. You can use it in pasta dishes, spread over fresh grilled vegetables, add to salads, spread on toasted bread, pizza and sandwiches. With just a few easy steps, pesto can spice up and add a totally different element to your everyday meals.
Beautiful Basil PestoCourse: Main, Salads, AppetizersCuisine: Italian, AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This classic Italian made with pine nuts, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan Reggiano cheese is sure to please.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pulse the nuts, lemon juice, and garlic in the food processor until they’re finely chopped.
- Add the basil and pulse again.
- Next, drizzle in the olive oil with the food processor blade still running.
- Finally, add grated Parmesan cheese and process briefly until combined.
For a smoother pesto, add more olive oil.