It’s hard to beat fresh, homemade pesto. Nothing at the store can compare! You’ll find yourself adding this basil pesto to everything.
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On Friday, Andrea who works a door down from the lab I work in* and takes lunch with a group of us, brought me a bundle of fresh basil from her garden complete with a tried and true basil pesto recipe. Naturally that was the first thing I made with the majority of the basil and it came out great!
I have a bad habit of over toasting nuts, but this time I managed to remember to check on them constantly so as not to waste such precious expensive pine nuts.
This was actually the very first time I’ve ever made my own pesto and it was easier than driving down the street to the grocery store to buy it there. And of course it’s better than any store-bought kind I’ve ever had. Isn’t that true of almost every homemade food item?
Nine years later and I can verify that it is still my go-to pesto recipe to this very day! It really beats anything you can buy at the store, hands down. Especially now that I can go in my backyard and pick the basil fresh from my garden! Maybe grab a few cherry tomatoes while I’m out there, homemade mozzarella if I’m feeling extra motivated, and caprese salad here we come.
I love using basil pesto in various dishes! Some ideas for you include:
- Basil Pesto Hummus
- Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells
- Feta Stuffed Pesto Turkey Burgers
- Greek Yogurt Gnocchi with Spicy Pesto
- Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto
- Pesto Chicken Lasagna
- Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Pesto Prosciutto Pizza
Besides pesto, what are other great options for which you like to use basil? What are your favorite recipes?
Post updated 8/16/20, photo above is the original.
* Sadly the lab is moving this very day to the new Pharmacy building on campus so our lunch group will be divided and I will no longer be getting fresh herbs. But at the same time it’s really exciting to be moving into a brand new facility **.
** Since the first time I wrote this post, I graduated with my PhD, got a job in Columbus, OH at Ohio State, moved labs to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and am still currently working there.
P.S. Moving labs sucks and my current lab is going to move into a new building again in about 2 years… oh the science life.
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 oz. Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (freshly shredded is fine)
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and cooled
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic. Turn on and add cheese through the feed tube. Continue processing until cheese is finely chopped.
- Add basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Process 2-3 seconds, then gradually add olive oil through the feed tube. Continue processing until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into an air-tight container, and top with a small amount of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.
Source: The recipe was given to Andrea by a friend, but I am unsure of the original source.