how to make basil pesto

NH basil pesto 002

I love basil and basil pesto, especially! Basil pesto is such a versatile addition to any dish. The great thing about making basil pesto is that it isn’t uptight like the other recipes. All nuts and cheeses are accepted; you can easily whip up some pesto with substitutes if you don’t have pine nuts and romano cheese. Great substitutes for pine nuts are almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios. It’s an all around sauce that’ll make your dishes tasteful no matter which ingredients you throw in. It doesn’t judge. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have basil, you can use other alternatives: mint, cilantro, parsley, arugula, and spinach; but, of course,  that’ll change the taste completely.

NH basil pesto 001

+ 3 cups compressed basil leaves
+ ¼ cup toasted pine nuts aka pignolias {best value found at Trader Joe’s}
+ 1/3 cup Romano-Parmesan blend cheese
+ 2 garlic cloves
+ 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
+ 1 squeeze of lemon juice {helps the flavor and acts as an preservative for those who are storing pesto!}
+ ½ cup good quality olive oil {used lucini from Ralph’s which has been tested for authenticity. Beware of fake olive oil!}

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To prepare:
+ blend all ingredients except for olive oil and cheese in a food processor.
+ slowly pour in olive oil in between pulses
+ blend the cheese last
+ store in tightly sealed jars and top off the pesto with a layer of olive oil to preserve it!

Serve with:
+ sandwiches, paninis, salads, pasta, chicken, steak, pizza, burgers, a little bit of butter with toast, omelettes, scrambled eggs, shrimp, fish, anything really.

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