Basil Pesto

Iowa weather has been a bit odd this summer. Not so far as the temperatures go. They’ve been pretty normal for July and early August, which means hot and uncomfortably humid. But the unusual amount of rain dumped on our state this late in the summer has ratcheted the humidity to new, almost unbearable levels.

Hiram doesn’t like the sticky weather. I don’t like the sticky weather. But our pot of basil loves it. Every morning, it looks inches taller. Like the hair on this middle-aged woman’s upper lip, each time I trim it, it grows back thicker and bushier.

With this bounty of basil, our blender is working overtime. I’ve lost count of how many batches of pesto I’ve made – and from the looks of things, there’s no end in sight. Thankfully, pesto freezes well. And with the two kids newly married and wrestling with food budgets, the excess will go to good homes.

If you’ve got basil coming out your ears, give my sister’s recipe a try. My favorite ways to serve it include:

  • As a spread on grilled sandwiches
  • In place of tomato sauce on pizza
  • Tossed with pasta, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, and Greek olives

With pesto spilling out of the freezer, I’m looking for more ways to use the green goop so leave a comment and share your ideas, too!

Basil Pesto

2 cups packed basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Pour oil in blender. Peel and slice garlic cloves into oil. Blend well. Add nuts and salt. Blend well. Add basil gradually, blending well between additions. When thoroughly blended, pour into a bowl. Add cheese and stir well. Use immediately or freeze in small plastic containers or ice cube trays. Once frozen pop out the pesto cubes and store a tray’s worth in a quart freezer bag.

Note: The picture above is a triple batch.

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