1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Combine pine nuts, basil, and garlic in a food processor, gently pulsing until mixed.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
Add the grated cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and pulse again until blended.
Refrigerate in tightly covered container or freeze.
Notes: Try substituting sunflower seeds, if pine nuts are not available.
If you do not have enough basil, use 2 cups basil and 2 cups fresh spinach leaves.
Pesto is great to have on hand for last minute hors d’oeuvres. It can stand alone as a dip and also works as a spread for pizzas and sandwiches. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
I freeze in muffin pan cups, then wrap individually and put in freezer bag. – Wendy
You can also freeze in ice cube trays, then store in plastic bags up to 6 months. Take out only as much as you need when you need it.