Pesto time!

As always, I leave things to the last minute, and this is pretty much the last hurrah for my basil.   I’m just lucky that the weather has cooperated and that my basil is still around!  I love pesto, and it’s just so easy to do.  It’s even better because the basil and garlic are from my garden (the garlic was harvested and roasted months ago).

And, as an added bonus, pesto is part of my sneaky agenda to add vegan meals to the menu without DH noticing.  Pesto is so hearty and filling, especially with a great protein like quinoa, and I think it somehow escaped his attention.  Whenever he notices, he feels the need to compensate by eating a big bowl of ice cream…which entirely defeats the purpose.  He says it’s not intentional, but I don’t buy it.  We had a deal when we married.  I wasn’t moving to Rochester, and he wasn’t going vegetarian.  So far, we’re living in Virginia, and still have a mixed diet.  But that doesn’t stop me from trying to push the envelope.  Ah, the things we do for love…

But onto the pesto!

I make a bunch at a time and freeze it so I can enjoy in the winter. I tend to make a pretty dry paste to freeze, and then just thin out with more olive oil as needed when I’m ready to use it. And there are so many ways to use it! Stir it into quinoa, as above, or use it as a pizza topping. Use it as a dip, pesto your fish….you’re only limited by your imagination!

You may also notice that there’s no cheese in this recipe, since I’m allergic to dairy. You can certainly add in some parm, but between the pine nuts and walnuts, there’s a delightful creaminess and I never miss it.

3 cups packed fresh basil, washed at the last minute
4 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
1 clove raw garlic
1/2 cup olive oil*
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts and walnuts
Big pinch sea salt
good squirt of lemon
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (optional)

*more as needed or desired

Toast pine nuts and walnuts over medium heat in a dry skillet, shaking to prevent burning. Set aside.
Process basil, garlic and oil until smooth-ish. Add in salt, nuts and lemon and pulse. I like to leave chunks, but that’s a matter of personal taste!

Since I’ve been missing the “Grow your own” deadlines for a while, I’m reversing the trend and submitting early! The host for this round is Andrea, of Andrea’s Kitchen, who also was the founder of this event.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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12 Responses to Pesto time!

  1. Shellyfish says:

    That pesto sounds so good – isn’t it funny how something so basic can be so delicious? And I hear you on the things we do for love…my husband became vegetarian (all on his own) a week after meeting me…but as the time has passed (we’ve been together 5 years) he’s been known to slip a little meat in here and there…but he’ll come around (and he’s too lazy to cook, so he eats vegan despite himself!).

  2. Ricki says:

    Mmmm–I love pesto! And you’re so lucky you still had some basil–mine was gone, gone, gone a while ago. Glad to hear DH was charmed by it!

  3. VeggieGirl says:

    You’re sooooo lucky that you were able to grow basil this year – the weather was SOOO horrid here this year, that neither my herb garden nor my vegetable garden were able to flourish 🙁

    Haha, so glad that DH loved the pesto!!! I don’t blame him, since it sounds SUPER delectable. Yum!!

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  5. Shelly,
    I wish I had your magic!

    Veggie Girl,
    if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can actually grow basil in a warm windowsill. It doesn’t get really big, but it’s still nice. I plan to give it a try!

  6. Oh how I love pesto! I am so sad that my herb garden is done for the season (we had our first frost last night!). I have never used kalamata olives in my pesto — can’t wait to add them in.

  7. Jude says:

    That is sneaky but I wouldn’t mind… Looks delicious to me 🙂

  8. Andrea says:

    I didn’t see an email from you, so sorry! Let me know which photo you want me to use and I’ll add it to the round up!

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