I fell in love with pesto back in college. I had it at a little Italian place and eventually found a recipe somewhere that I copied down on a piece of paper and since then have made for home and catering events, equally thousands of people over the years. When I am not catering, I always double the recipe and freeze it in batches so I have it on hand all the time. My daughter's friends LOVE this pesto in a cold pesto pasta salad, which I made in advance of our last camping trip and they ate it for several days in a row!
This is super simple to make with only 5 ingredients and if you love to grow fresh herbs this is the perfect recipe to use all that basil!
Note: The recipe calls for pine nuts, but I have subbed in almonds, sunflower seeds or pecans.
Here is a list of a few ways I love to use this pesto:
Pesto Pasta Salad
In Turkey burgers
In meatballs (see my saucy cheesy meatballs blog post)
Mixed into an aioli for a pesto mayo
On a panini with mozzarella and sliced tomatoes
In stuffed mushrooms
Anywhere you need a flavorful boost!
½ cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup pine nuts (or almonds, sunflower seeds or pecans or a combination)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
Blend basil, nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until it becomes a paste.
Add the parmesan and process.
Slowly add the olive oil with the processor running. I like to use a funnel in the top of the food processor tube to avoid spilling oil over the side of the machine.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Enjoy in pasta or mixed into your favorite burger, sauce, mayo, etc. The options are endless.