Happy Monday everyone and happy Labor Day!
I'm going to make this a quick one today and sort of just get to the point- pesto.
Summer is coming to a close, which means (if you're like me) your lovely giant basil plant you had growing ever so nicely on your window sill all season long is....well....dying. Leaf by leaf I sort of watched my lively vibrant green herb plant lose its luster and turn.
I couldn't use it's leaves fast enough. Every lunch and dinner had some sort of basil-y component to it. Still I watched parts die. Heart break central. I wanted it all for myself to consume.
Come this time of year there are a couple of things you can do to preserve your summer herbs and use them for a little while longer. I chose the pesto route. Basil = pesto to me. Kind of always has. Or caprese. But that's a different story.
So, I grabbed my diminishing plant, a few ingredients out of the fridge and pantry and viola- Pesto! It's yummy. It's pesto-y, and it's made with almonds (gasp!)- what I always have in the pantry and just the way I like it.
This couldn't be easier.
Makes about 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups semi-packed fresh organic basil (washed and dried)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh organic lemon juice
- 3/4 cups good olive oil
- *optional* pinch red pepper flakes
First things first- toast those almonds!
- In a dry pan (no oil), over medium low heat, add your sliced almonds.
- Cook, toss/stirring every few seconds until golden brown and fragrant. Takes about 2-3 minutes :) Watch it though, don't go anywhere- this will happen quick! The oils in the nuts will cause it to burn if you're not careful.
- Once golden, immediately remove from heat and add to food processor (or blender).
Now for the pesto!
- In a food processor (or blender) add all your ingredients, except your oil.
- Pulse/puree until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down sides.
- With processor running, slowly drizzle in your oil.
- Puree until thoroughly combined and then add to a glass or plastic air tight container with tight fitting lid. Store in fridge for up to a week! Stir before use, as oil may rise to top.
Its great on grilled meats, great on sammies, fantastic on a cheese plate, pizza or pasta dish! Try dipping veggies sticks in it for a healthy dip alternative! Basically pesto is so versatile you can use however your heart desires!