This fresh homemade Pesto Sauce is one of the best recipes you can add to your arsenal. In a matter of minutes, with just five fresh ingredients you have countless meals, delicious appetizers and so many tasty snacks up your sleeve, ready to go. It is incredible how many meals can be created with fresh pesto sauce.
One of the things I love most about this simple recipe is that only a small handful of fresh ingredients are needed to create such BIG and BOLD flavors. Basil, minced garlic, freshly grated parmesan, toasted pine nuts and a good quality olive oil can go such a long way.
With only five ingredients and two steps it is so simple. So easy. So delicious. You are going to want to have this pesto on hand for all the recipes. On top of your favorite grilled dishes, in pasta, and served with warm bread. It does not get any better than this.
Toast those Pine Nuts
Something we did not do, because George and James' nap time had come to a quick end, but totally should have, was toast our pine nuts. A quick and easy way to elevate the flavor of this dish, to really add to the earthy freshness, is toast the pine nuts. A simple toasting gives an additional depth of flavor that cannot be achieved in any other way. Just trust me, it's worth the extra five minutes.
Now, when it comes to toasting your Pine Nuts there are three methods we suggest, the microwave, on the stove top, or in the oven. Each method comes with its own pros and cons. Rachel over at Rachel Cooks, gives you all the details you need for each method. Check it out right here.
101 Ways to Enjoy Fresh Homemade Pesto
Oh Pesto, Oh Pesto. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." There truly are one hundred and one ways to enjoy fresh homemade pesto sauce. There is nothing like a big bowl of pasta mixed with a large scoop of pesto. Nothing speaks more to my heart than a large bowl of fresh, hot pasta. But not only does pesto pair well with pasta but also on top of grilled chicken, as a marinade or dressing, as sauce on pizza, a spread on sandwiches, as a dip or bruschetta on toasted bread.
This fresh basil pesto recipe is truly a game changer. This recipe can take you a long, long way in your weekly meal planning. Make up a batch of fresh pesto and you will have many a delicious meal in the weeks ahead.
One recipe we definitely suggest you give a try is our Pesto and Zucchini Lasagna recipe right here.
Pro Chef - Mom Hacks
All the more reason to love this recipe is that it is freezer friendly. Make a big batch, freeze the leftovers, and pull them out whenever you have a recipe that calls for pesto. There are several ways to freeze pesto and other fresh herbs, but the easiest and my personal go to, is in ice cube trays.
Scoop any remaining pesto into each compartment. Then using plastic wrap tightly press the wrap against the pesto, removing any and all air. Place the trays in the freezer for several hours and allow to freeze entirely. Once frozen, pop the individual portions of pesto out of the tray and store in a gallon size storage bag, being careful to remove all air.
Change It Up
Now that you have the basics of a pesto under your belt you can play around changing up the recipe by substituting with some of your favorite herbs, seeds, oils or cheeses.
Because like we say, one of the best advantages to being the head chef in your own kitchen, is that you get to call the shots. There are countless varieties of sauces to be made. When experimenting use the same portions as in the original recipe. Here are a few suggestions of flavors you can play with to create your own custom sauce ...
- Herbs: basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro, tarragon
- Leafy greens: spinach, micro-greens, arugula, kale
- Nuts and seeds: pine nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Oils: olive oil, avocado oil, cashew oil, coconut oil, almond oil
- Cheeses: Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, White Cheddar, Gruyere
- 2 cups basil leaves (packed tightly)
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend till ingredients are chopped well, but not pureed.
- For extra flavor toast your pine nuts before blending.
- Freeze any remaining pesto in an ice cube tray and save in the freezer for quick meals later.
- Substitute ingredients with your favorite herbs, seeds, oils or cheeses for your own custom sauce. Suggestions are in the post if looking for inspiration.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
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