Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY Nut Free Basil Pesto

A few weeks ago I talked about how I wanted to make everything from scratch. How amazing it would be to prepare practically everything we use from mayonnaise and ketchup to butter, yogurt and more. It is dream of mine to learn how to can and preserve. I've heard it isn't that hard to do. I know that one of my hang ups with canning is that I want to do it as a result of a bountiful harvest from my garden. That I don't have yet. It's coming though. Soooooon. I just want to wait until our remodel/addition on our house is done, which looks like 4 to 6 months from now. Then I can start building my raised beds, starting seeds, and growing, growing, growing. Instead, I'm building my dream garden on Pinterest.

But until my dream harvest becomes a reality, I will focus on other things that I can make from scratch. Like this pesto. Now, of course I would love to have been able to pluck the basil right out of my garden for this, but since I can't, I didn't. Instead I plucked it from the shelf of my local grocery's produce section. I got the BIG container of basil. And I used half of it to make pesto (the other half is going to some other recipes I'm trying out this week.). This recipe is simple which makes it quick and easy. Traditionally pesto have nuts of some kind in it. Well, I feed people who can't each such things, so I've learned to leave them out. And I overcompensate that loss with garlic and cheese. Why not?

Now most recipes don't call for all of the pesto that this recipe makes. Well, no worries you have some options on what you can do with the rest.

Can it.
If you know how. I obviously haven't tried this myself.

Use it throughout the week in other recipes.
Sometimes I like to menu plan around certain fresh ingredients that I need to use before they go bad.

Freeze it.
I like to use ice cube trays and once they're frozen solid, pop them out and put them in a freezer safe container for future use. These are wonderful for adding flavor to pasta sauces, marinades, breads, dressings, etc. Depending on what you're cooking, you can add them directly to simmering pots of sauces and soups, or defrost the cubes in a little bowl first.

DIY Nut Free Basil Pesto

4-8 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Approximately 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil, pepper and salt in a food processor (or blender). Turn on to "puree" and gradually stream in olive oil. You may use more or less olive oil depending on the consistency you're looking for. So, I know it's obvious, but: less oil=thicker, more oil=thinner.

Source: Elizabeth original


  1. This looks absolutely delicious and exactly what I was looking for!! I love that there are no weird "substitute" ingredients (I read oatmeal in one! What?!) and that it's not lacking in garlic! 1-2 cloves? Yeah...I don't think so... I can't wait to try this! :)

    1. Oatmeal?? How strange! We are definitely not afraid of a little garlic at our house. Hope you like it, Liz!

  2. Add some lemon juice and a dash of sugar to bring it all together! Tastes great