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Nourishing Mondays: Basil Pesto

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Happy Nourishing Monday! I have previously mentioned, my mom’s fresh pesto is out of this world. Throughout the summer we feast on pesto because our basil plant is usually in full bloom. Personally, I like pesto on anything, really anything. Sometimes I think I would even drizzle it over ice cream. It’s such a versatile sauce; I slather it on everything from chicken breasts to pizzas.

This past weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday. We called it the Queens Jubilee celebration because it pretty much lasted the entire week. To end the week my mom invited all of her family for a big celebration at our house. We had an entire Italian feast complete with homemade pasta. We had various kinds of grilled meats, vegetables and breads. As you can probably imagine, everything was topped with tomato cream sauce and pesto. For dessert we had an Italian “budino” pie and tiramisu.

Throughout the whole feast the most popular item served was the basil pesto, without a doubt. The bowl of homemade pasta and pesto was completely scraped clean; everyone licked their plates shamelessly. The chewy, flavorful, homemade pasta perfectly complimented this rich and healthy sauce. The pasta is definitely a recipe I will share later as well. It was my first time attempting to make it and I thought it turned out perfect.

Fresh basil pesto is absolutely something that should be made at home and not store bought. It is so easy, and tastes monumentally better, so give it a try!

Basil Pesto (makes about 1 cup)
2 cup fresh stem less basil
4 TBS Parmesan cheese
4 TBS pine nuts
5 TBS olive oil
Salt to taste

Put the basil, cheese and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour in olive oil and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil if pesto is too thick for your liking. Pour into a bowl and salt generously, if you’re a salt addict like me. No really, on a serious note salt to your taste. The great thing about this recipe is you can add as much cheese, pine nuts, basil and olive oil as you see fit! If you like your pesto to be nuttier, by all means add more, it’s all up to you!

(Photo Source: Monica Smith-Acuna)

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