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Hello from the Land Where Basil Dies!

For real.

My herbs are sad, folks.

Luckily, though, my grandparents and mother are fantabulous gardeners, and gave me a massive quantity of basil a few weeks ago.

So, naturally, I made pesto.

It’s easy, it’s delicious, and there are SO many things you can do with it.

Let’s make pesto!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 – 4 cups pesto leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic

Yum!  This smells so dang good.

Now, first, toast the pine nuts if they aren’t already toasted.  Toss them in a dry pan over medium-low heat, and shake them around for 3 minutes or so until they’re nice and golden – this will happen fast, so don’t let them burn!

Now.  Pesto!

Wash the basil and remove any large stems, then place it in a food processor.  Zest the lemon directly into the food processor bowl – this is the secret ingredient!

Then, add the parmesan and garlic cloves….

….then 1/4 cup olive oil and the pine nuts, along with a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Yum!  Now, give this all a whir in the food processor.   If it immediately sticks to the sides, stream in more olive oil and lemon juice one wedge at a time until it forms a smooth paste.

Now, taste! Add more of anything except garlic – the garlic flavor will concentrate a lot as the pesto sits, so don’t worry if you can’t taste it too much right at the beginning.  I usually go with more salt and lemon juice.

I should note to you that when I make pesto I usually get full before I actually cook anything with it – it’s that good!  You could spread this on toast, mix it with mayo and sour cream for a delicious dip, or….make pasta!

We’ll get to that tomorrow. It’s easy and delicious.