Making your own delicious sweet basil pesto doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. In fact, it only takes a few minutes and a few simple steps. Pesto is an important part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, and can be served as a garnish or a spread in many different ways.
Itâ??s absolutely essential to use FRESH garlic and FRESH sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)! Hereâ??s an easy recipe for a simple, tasty and healthy basil pesto:
About two cups of fresh basil leaves
Two to four large cloves of fresh garlic
A quarter cup of pine nuts, chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds
Half a cup of extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese to taste (be generous!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash the basil very well and pat dry on a clean cloth.
2. Throw the garlic and the parmesan into your blender and give it a good chop.
3. Add the pine nuts (or walnuts, or sunflower seeds) and the basil â?? chop some more.
4. Once these ingredients are chopped up good and small, slowly drizzle in the oil to form an emulsion. You want to be careful not to pour the oil in too quickly, otherwise it’ll just slosh around on top of the mixture instead of melding into it.
5. After you’ve poured in enough oil to make a nice thick concoction, open up your blender and sample a taste.
6. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
7. Serve over pasta, pizza, baked potatoes, on toast, or as a sandwich spread.
Your sweet basil pesto freezes well, but if you plan to keep it in the fridge for more than a few days, make sure that the basil is covered with a layer of olive oil. This will preserve the colour and the quality of your basil pesto.
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