Pesto is a wonderful escape from bright tomato or heavy cream sauces. In the summer months with basil is in full bloom, but you can savor the summer a bit longer by jarring or canning pesto.
Can’t beat delicious fresh pesto sauce made some basil leaves straight from the garden. Well, that is what I did most recently with my big basil overhaul, and down below I will show you how to make authentic Italian pesto.
One main ingredient lacking in most bottled pesto sauces is pine nuts. Known as “pinoli” in Italy, these are the edible nuts of the pine tree. Rich in heart-healthy monosaturated fats and fat solube vitamins E and D; minerals iron and magnesium. The add a nice texture and bulk to the sauce, but is commonly left out due to nut allergies.
For this recipe, we are using grated parmesan, but if you would like to make it vegan, this makes a great substitute.
You Will Need
- 3 cups of fresh Genovese basil
- 1 cup of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts, soaked overnight then drained
- 1/2 cup of powdered parmesan cheese
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
A food processor makes this recipe easier, but can all be chopped by hand.
First wash the basil, and allow to fully dry. Add the basil to your food processor, then pulse into a finely diced consistency. You want to add the basil first so it doesn’t clump.
Once you have the basil at a nice fine texture, add the olive oil and garlic. Puree evenly, slowly adding the pine nuts and spices. Mix thoroughly to avoid large pieces of garlic. Add the cheese last, and top with a splash more of olive oil.
Store in a glass jar, or airtight container in the fridge. Serve with pasta, over omelets, or even mix with mayonnaise for a fun sandwich spread.
Basil is quite the food fighter, full of antioxidants to tame inflammation, calm indigestion, and friend of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It helps people manage insulin levels, and good for gut health. Try to have pesto at least one day of the week!