Since today is the last day of August (the unofficial last day of summer), I wanted to share a great DIY idea for closing out the summer months…make your own pesto! There are so many individuals who enjoy taking advantage of summer to grow fabulous herb gardens. Come the end of Summer, many are often left with large hauls of herbs and other produce that need to be used to prevent any waste. Pesto is a great solution for using up all of your excess summer produce because it's not only easy to make and super delicious, but it also can be made using an array of ingredients (kale, mint, basil, any type of nut, etc..). Making pesto is really all about adhering (roughly not exactly) to the ratio formula and from there, you can go wild with the endless possibilities. Today I am sharing my take on classic pesto. This recipe can be used right away, stored in a freezer and even makes for a fabulous gift.
- 2c. Tightly Packed Fresh Basil Leaves (if you run out of basil, spinach leaves are a great substitute)
- 1/2c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2-4 Cloves Fresh Garlic
- 1/2c. Olive Oil (+up to 1/4c. more if consistency is too thick)
- 1/4c. Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest (*I prefer to use a meyer lemon, but any lemon is fine)
- Juice of 1/2 of a Lemon
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In a food processor (or blender), add fresh garlic and pulse a few times until minced.
- Add Basil leaves and pulse until chopped
- Add Olive oil, cheese, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice, pulse until well combined
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Divide into three 4oz-mason jars and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve and/or gift
While I am still dreaming of the day when I can make pesto grown from basil in my backyard, the bulk basil from the grocery store works just fine. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to use up a bunch of ingredients I already had in my fridge. I really couldn't think of a better way to close out the summer season than with such a delicious and very versatile recipe. And now, on to Fall!