I picked up pickling cucumbers for fermenting and green beans for pickling, some amazing red beets and the cherries…OMG!!! They are divine!
I got home and grabbed all the ingredients I needed for making pesto from scratch: Parmesan cheese (not pictured), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt, pepper and of course my fresh Basil.
Hold up!! Garlic paste and lemon juice in bottles?! Yes, because that’s what I had at home already. Normally I would squeeze fresh lemons and get their zest (zest first, juice second, much easier than the other way around, haha!) and I would chop fresh garlic from the garden, but it’s not ready just yet. I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil because I wanted a lighter taste to my pesto. I really wanted the fresh basil to shine more so then the olive oil.
Being that our basil probably came out of the ground early in the am, make sure you wash it really well and give it a good dry too! That’s a great rule of thumb for any produce you purchase, wash it just before eating! I plucked all the stems off my basil, washed them under cold water and them placed them between paper towels to pat them dry very gently.
From here you can either roll them up in a clean set of paper towels and store them in the fridge for later use or you can starting making things with them right away, the choice is yours.
If your like me it’s on to the next step, blending! Take all your ingredients, oil included and place them in the cup. Screw on the blades (or if you are using a traditional blender, put on the lid).
The finished product is now ready for using in any dish you please, from a Caprese pasta salad that has lots of tomatoes and fresh baby mozzarella to a sauce over some baked salmon with steamed veggies an wild grains!
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
Place all your ingredients in the blender. Process with pulsing for 2-3 second intervals until your desired consistency is reached. Adjust the seasoning as needed to suit your personal taste.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 9 months.
Show us all your pesto creations on social media! We’d love to see all the variations you can come up with. Tag us as #hthpersonalchef on Instagram or leave us a note on Facebook @hthpersonalchef. We’d love to see what you come up with!
See you next week!