Easy Homemade Pesto

Pesto is one of those things where after making it once and realizing how easy it is, you'll never buy it in the store again. It's most commonly used as a pasta sauce, but I probably use it most for sandwiches or when I want to jazz up my cheese toast. Spread some pesto on french bread, sprinkle a little bit (or a lot) of cheese on top, stick it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until the cheese gets all bubbly and melty, and you have yourself a delicious little snack. Pesto can also be used as a garnish on top of soups like tomato bisque or vegetable. 

Ingredients
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, rinsed (dry in a salad spinner if you have one, or just between two paper towels)
- 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan 
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse 7-8 times until all the contents are chopped and no big leaves remain. 
  2. With the food processor on, gradually pour in olive oil.
  3. Remove lid and scrape down sides and lid with a rubber spatula. Add parmesan to the mix and pulse until it is all incorporated. 
  4. At this point it is ready to use. If you like a smoother pesto, pulse a few more times until it gets to the desired consistency. If you're not using the pesto right away, store it in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil on top. 
I like my basil a little chunky :)

I like my basil a little chunky :)

Remember, pesto is not limited to pasta! With a little extra oil it makes a great marinade for chicken or shrimp, perfect for a salad or to serve with quinoa. Also, if you don't have a food processor, a blender works just fine - just keep an eye on it as you're blending so it doesn't completely liquify. I hope you enjoyed my first video! More to come.