Fresh Basil Pesto
[E]very year, as the weather starts to heat up at the end of Spring, I buy a basil plant. The abundant and hardy herb thrives in a colorful pot on our sunny windowsill and provides us with fresh basil all season long. I use large handfuls for fresh pesto, as an accent in summer tomato sauces and soups, and to add a fresh sweetness to Caprese salads and panzanella.
With Autumn slowly creeping in and our basil plant now on its last leg, I decided that the time had come to harvest the remaining leaves and make a fresh basil pesto. I combined the pesto with whole-roasted cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and a dusting of Parmesan, all over whole-wheat spaghetti, for a flavorful, satisfying vegetarian dinner.
Simple Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tbs fresh garlic, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1. Add basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse to combine.
2. With food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Serve immediately with your favorite dish or store in a jar or air-tight container with a layer of olive oil on top for up to a week.