Updated: Jan 29
If you've only tasted pesto from a jar, then my friend, you really haven't tasted pesto. It's like when I buy a cheap version of an Oreo and try to pass it off to my kids as the real thing. The response? "MMMMMOOOOOOOOMMM!" Jarred pesto is like that. When I tasted the store bought version last winter, I was hoping to experience the taste of a bright summer day in all it's bountiful goodness. But after one bite I was like, "WHHHHAATTT?!" My taste buds were reliving the blahs of March.... in Nebraska. Mundane, mediocre March. So if you want to capture summer in a jar, make some pesto. You don't have fresh basil? No worries. There's plenty of basil around this time of year so no need to buy the meesly little sprigs at the store. Ask your friends, your neighbors if they any basil, or head to your local farmers market. Once you make this stuff, you'll be putting the taste of summer on everything: steaks, pasta, sandwiches, toast, BLT's, pizza etc., You can also freeze pesto to have on hand to get you through the month of March. Eating pesto gives me hope.
This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law way back before kids. It's been a staple in this house for over 25 years. We love it.
So pick some basil and let's make some pesto!
Gather your fresh basil by cutting or pinching off the leaves to measure 2 cups loosely packed leaves. Here's a hint: If you feel you don't have enough basil on hand, you can make up the quantity by adding fresh spinach leaves.
In this post I will chop all the ingredients. Because that's what my sister- in-law does. If you've ever had the chance to meet Kari Baker, then you'd chop your basil too. And if you've ever met Kari Baker, you'd want to be like Kari Baker. She is a ray of sunshine. She warms your soul like a June summer day. Kari makes your everyday better just like this pesto. If you would like a smoother consistency, place all the ingredients in a food processor, which I do quite often.
Kari and I feeling confident in our coordinating polkadot dresses. Pregnant or not, these jumpers were so versatile!
Finely chop your basil leaves- the Kari Baker way.
Place basil into a bowl and add the following ingredients:
1/2- 3/4 cup olive oil
1TSP chopped garlic ( I use garlic in a jar)
1/2 TSP sea salt
2 TSP fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts. Pecans also works well and gives your pesto a hint of sweetness.
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Not the powdery kind, but shredded. The powder variety makes your pesto pasty and we cannot place pasty pesto on our plates. (Say that again ten times).
Chop all ingredients and place in a bowl and stir. Or place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pesto can be frozen. After making your pesto, place a quarter cup into a ziplock freezer bag and place in the freezer. The pesto may become darker, but the taste will remain the same.
TRY PESTO ON YOUR BLT
CAN'T GO WRONG WITH A LITTLE PESTO ON PIZZA