Basil Pesto

Fresh pesto is bursting with herby garlicky bold 
flavors. Whenever my basil plant starts to get
 “leggy” I give it a good trim. It encourages the

 plant to get thicker, and it will make a 
great pesto. 
Strip the leaves from the stems.  Wash them
 in cold water in the bowl of a salad spinner. 
Rinse several times if needed until the water

 is clear. Then spin the leaves dry. 
I don’t follow an exact recipe, just toss it all 
in the food processor and give it a good whirl, 
but I’ll give you the recipe below to get you 
started. You can add more or less of anything 
to get it to your liking. You can also use almost
 any nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews or
 even sunflower seeds. Toast them in a
toaster oven for a flavor boost. You can 
even leave out the nuts. If I’m making a small batch and I’m
out of nuts, I’ll leave those out. 
Add the nut, garlic, basil and cheese, to the bowl
of a food processor. Process until chopped.
With the machine running, slowly add the
 olive oil until it reaches your desired
consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Add a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch
of red pepper flakes, if desired. 
Pulse a few times to blend.
Total processing time will be
about 1-2 minutes. 
Store in a lidded jar adding a light film of olive oil
 on top of the pesto. So many ways to use it: with 
grilled shrimp, salmon, in a sandwich, as a dip with
 warm crusty bread, in pasta, topping for an omelet, 
grilled chicken, and more.
You’ll want to make it all summer long. 
Basil Pesto
2-3 C tightly packed basil leaves
2 L cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C nuts, toasted 
(pine nuts, almonds, walnuts
cashews, sunflower seeds)
about 1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 t salt ~ 1/4 t pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
spritz of lemon juice
Wash the basil leaves in cold water
and dry in a salad spinner. Add the nuts, basil
cheese and garlic to a food processor; process until
chopped. With the machine running add the oil and run
until pureed. Season to taste with salt, pepper,
red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. 
Run again to belnd until desired consistency. 

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