Pretend you're in a corn maze… except for corn, you're surrounded by basil. Yes. Basil. So actually, let's pretend you're in a basil maze. A maze of basil. Lost, wandering, gently pushing the basil from side to side as you navigate your direction.
That, my friends, is what it's like to be in my garden right now.
Never, in all my grand ‘ol years have I seen such basil. At least in my garden. This year, instead of opting for starts from the nursery, I started the basil from seed and wowza! – what a performance.
By the way, for those who aren't quite as ‘hip' as me, ‘wowza' is a term meaning ‘holy cow, dude'.
Now that we're all caught up on super rad jargon, let's get to the point of this basil maze: homemade pesto, man.
Homemade. Pesto. The stuff midwinter dreams are made of. The substance that reminds you in the cold, dreary months that soon there will be life from the land once again and that that life is delicious. For pizzas. For pastas. For omelets. For smearing on homemade bread. And for all the delicious things in between.
There's not much better than a killer pesto recipe than using the most fantastic jars to store it in – am I right?
Mightynest has outdone themselves once again. Once I spotted these ‘ol Weck jars, I knew I had to have 'em. My favorite part (besides the design) is the alternative to using plastic to store the pesto in. When I can sub in glass jars, I'm happy to make the switch! And thankfully, Mightynest is there to help make that an option more often.
For those who aren't quite as ‘hip' as me, ‘moolah' is another work for money, honey.
Each jar consists of five pieces: the jar, the rubber seal, the lid, and two snaps that hold the lid in place. Would you just look at them and appreciate their old fashioned feel and shape with me?
I stacked all of my Weck jars up on my cabinets so that I could stare at them as often as I please. And I'll be danged if this homemade pesto didn't make them look all the more beautiful.
Let's get to it!
Homemade Pesto Recipe
You will need:
– 2 cloves garlic
– 4 cups of tightly packed fresh basil leaves (no stem or flowers!)
– 1/4 cup cubed Parmesan cheese
– 1 cup olive oil
– 1/2 cup almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts (buy HERE)
– Sea salt to taste
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, gently toast the garlic cloves (with their skins still on) until just golden and fragrant. I did some extra while I was at it. Peel the skin from the garlic cloves.
2. In a high-powered blender (I LOVE MY VITAMIX!) or food processor, combine the garlic cloves, basil, Parmesan, olive oil, and almonds. Blend on high until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender or food processor if necessary. Personally, I really don't love chunky pesto, so I make sure to really blend it well. Blend, baby, blend. Did I mention I love my Vitamix?
3. Taste the pesto and season with a small pinch of sea salt, if necessary. My Parmesan cheese was very salty and so I didn't add any additional salt, but feel free. This is your pesto, after all.
4. Welp. I guess that's it. Not too bad, huh? Oh… but I almost forgot the best part! Gently spoon the fresh pesto into those fantastic Weck canning jars from Mightynest. Refrigerate or freeze until you need it!
As far as food preservation goes, it doesn't get too much easier than that! And as far as food preservation goes, it doesn't get much more beautiful either.
And happy pesto making!
(Psssst!) Do you have even MORE basil in your garden than what can be used in a pesto recipe? Try my Homemade Bruschetta Recipe with some basil, too. Ooh, how about a spread with bread, pesto, and bruschetta? Sounds like the perfect summer picnic meal to me!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.
Homemade Pesto Recipe
Enjoy the flavor of summer.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups of tightly packed fresh basil leaves (no stem or flowers!)
- 1/4 cup cubed Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup almonds (pine nuts, or walnuts)
- Sea salt to taste
- In a small skillet over medium heat, gently toast the garlic cloves (with their skins still on) until just golden and fragrant.
- In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine the garlic cloves, basil, Parmesan, olive oil, and almonds. Blend on high until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender or food processor if necessary. Personally, I really don’t love chunky pesto, so I make sure to really blend it well.
- Taste the pesto and season with a small pinch of sea salt, if necessary.
- Refrigerate or freeze until you need it!