Now that the 4th of July has passed, EVERYONE in the USA can claim it’s summer. You know those people who are like “Oooh but I live way North, so it’s not summer till after the 4th!” — you know the type. NOW they have to admit it’s summer — and if you look at the temperatures in Portland right now… ouch. It’s brutally summer! Cool down before I come home, OK? Ok.
But here’s one of my favorite perks of summer: fresh basil like whoaaa. Is there anything better? Maybe goat cheese, but I haven’t found that goat cheese plant yet so … basil it is! I’m seriously considering getting a plant for my apartment, but am afraid I’ll kill it. We’ll see how that goes. More likely, I’ll just raid my Mom’s garden! YAAY!
If/when you get to the point where you’re like “OMG TOO MUCH BASIL” (as if that’s an issue), I recommend making pesto. Then put it in muffin tins or ice cube trays, and freeze it! Then when you need a bit of pesto, just grab a cube and throw it into your pasta or whatever you’ve made… easy! And you won’t waste any basil!
This recipe is pretty traditional, except I swapped pecans for the pine nuts. You guys know by now that I looooove pecans — I put them in ice cream and pancakes and cookies and salads and pasta — so I figured I was being super creative when I thought of putting them into pesto! Then I realized nearly every other human besides me has already done this. Womp womp. So I’m late to the party — at least it’s a yummy one!
I HIGHLY recommend toasting your pecans first… for pretty much anything you ever do with them. It takes them from “yum” to “OMG YUM” with very little effort. Trust me. ENJOY! xoxoPrint
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant, 7-9 minutes. Do not burn! Remove from heat and let cool slightly before continuing.
- Combine all ingredients, except for the olive oil, in the food processor. Pulse to chop very finely, then let the processor run as you pour in the olive oil.
- Add more oil, salt, and pepper, as needed.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, or freeze for later use.