Classic Basil Pesto

*Photos Updated July 2012*

Whenever I have a bunch of basil to use up before it goes bad, I make a batch of pesto. I learned somewhere along the line to freeze it into tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray, then pop out the cubes once they’re frozen and move them into a container to keep in the freezer. This way, your basil doesn’t go bad and you have perfectly sized portions of pesto to take out of the freezer whenever you need them. And it helps that we’re both in love with pesto. It goes so well in so many applications. We like it stuffed with cheese into chicken breasts, sandwiched into an omelet or mixed with scrambled eggs, stuffed into scallops before searing them, used as a marinade for shrimp kabobs – the list is endless.

Pesto
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Italian Recipes
Serves: Makes about 3/4 cup

This is a traditional pesto recipe without any unusual additions. We love it.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
Salt and pepper

1. In a food processor or a blender, combine all of the ingredients. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping the sides as necessary. If necessary, add additional olive oil to thin the pesto.

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