Basil mania over here! Italian basil is one of my favorite herbs to use in the kitchen. It can add such a vibrant and fresh flavor to some of my favorite dishes. If you like basil you are going to love this Easy Basil Pesto
recipe. I like to make a large batch, freeze it in ice cube trays or in little jars, then I can just grab a few out of the freezer and throw them in my pasta. Yum!
This recipe is so easy. Here’s what you’ll need. The full printable recipe is below.
When I saw the Italian Basil growing well in my herb boxes this summer, I was excited. It’s very convenient to be able to walk out and pick a handful for garnish or meal. Unfortunately with of the change of seasons, this pleasure has come and gone, but I have a little trick to preserve it throughout the year. I like to make Easy Basil Pesto. Here’s how I make it using a blender.
I start by stripping the basil leaves off their stems. I carefully wash and dab dry the leaves. Next I put them in a blender along with cashews, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
It’s blending time! I turn the blender on and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients are well blended. You may or may not need all of the oil.
I like to add just enough oil to get a “swirl” like this. That’s it! Basil pesto made!!! Don’t you just love the vibrant green? And it smells a-mazing!
From here it’s ready to use. If you’d rather save it for later you can store it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 4 months. I like to freeze it in ice cube trays to make adding it to a dish quick and easy.
Frozen pesto cubes are a big time saver at our house and they still bring that great fresh basil flavor and vibrant green color.
4 cups Italian basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup cashews
1/2-3/4 cup good olive oil, enough to thin pesto
4 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoons lemon, 1 1/2 tablespoons zest, 1 1/2 tablespoons juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Place all ingredients except the olive oil into blender.
- Turn blender on and immediately begin drizzling the olive oil into the blender. Add as much oil is needed to have a smooth swirl in the center.
- Use in your favorite Italian dish.
- If freezing, pour into ice cubes or airtight freezer containers and freeze. Once Ice cube molds are frozen pop out and store in an airtight container in freezer.
Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3-4 months.
What’s your favorite pesto dish?