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I love basil pesto. I love it on slices of crusty bread or mixed in pasta or used on pizza instead of red sauce. Unfortunately, the only time I can afford to get enough basil is when I grow and harvest it myself. The last couple of years, I have failed miserably at growing basil.
But, I will tell you a secret. You can put in as much basil as you have then supplement the rest with spinach. It’s delightful!
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- Enough fresh raw basil and fresh raw spinach to yield about 16 ounces total
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
Just a note that I love garlic, but I don’t like it in this pesto. It’s typical to include so I’ve included it in my recipe, but I didn’t use it in my pesto.
Place pine nuts and garlic in food processor and process until the pine nuts are ground.
Fill processor bowl with spinach and basil until full, process. Repeat until all the leaves are processed in the bowl, scraping sides as needed.
While processor is going, slowly pour in olive oil, checking as you go, until you get the consistency you desire.
Add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Process just until mixed through.
This made three cups of pesto. I put one jar in the refrigerator and two in the freezer for later. I’ve read in some cookbooks that you should add the cheese when you thaw it since some people don’t like frozen (then thawed) cheese. It doesn’t bother me, so I just go for it.
Lastly, you can’t process pesto in a canner. It has cheese in it. Also, there is a question of whether you should can nuts. I don’t know. I prefer my pesto raw anyway. I only cook it, if I’m adding it to pasta or using it for pizza. Just don’t try to can it, despite seeing it in my pretty Italian canning jars. 🙂