I am going to miss my fresh basil. Once autumn arrives I try to use it up because unfortunately this is one herb that will not survive the first sightings of Jack frost (likely about mid-November in Wilmington, NC).
So last weekend I used my fresh basil to make pesto sauce. This has become a yearly fall ritual for me! It is simple and the results are far better than anything you can purchase in the grocery store. Pesto will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator, although mine never lasts that long. (There are too many ways to enjoy it!) Here are my top three:
1. Adding to cooked pasta and vegetables and a bit of cooking water for a quick side.
2.Using as a sandwich spread or adding a dollop to a wrap.
3. Using it as a seasoning for meats, chicken and fish (spreading on a thin layer prior to cooking).
Remember pesto sauce is very concentrated so, ” a little dab will do ya'”!
What are your fall rituals?
Pesto Sauce (makes appproximately 1/2 cup)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 2 cups packed fresh basil
- 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 4 t fresh lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add EVOO and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste.