This summer we have an abundance of basil from our hay bale gardens and have been making pesto for a variety of meals, including breakfast! Not only is pesto delicious on pasta but it's just as delicious on fish, vegetables, chicken or just about anything! Last year our friend, Jane Hall, grew tomatoes and basil in hay bales...we grew ours in traditional dirt. The difference was amazing...the hay bale crop far exceeded the traditional dirt crop and made us believers. Gary bought the bales at the local hardware store then quickly got to preparing them with fertilizer and water. After two weeks of daily watering, we planted our basil and tomatoes along with some other herbs and couldn't be happier with the results. If you never tried this method before, it's definitely worth the minimal effort.😋😋
- 3 Tablespoons Pignoli Nuts (Italian pine nuts) lightly toasted
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups fresh sweet Italian basil leaves, packed tightly (approximately 2 very large bunches)
- 8 Tablespoons EVOO, preferably Ligurian as it makes a big difference in taste
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
- In a food processor add toasted pignoli nuts, salt, and garlic cloves. Pulse into a smooth paste.
- Add the basil in small amounts then pulse after each addition until all the basil has been added and the mixture is creamy & smooth. Slowly (slow is key here) add the EVOO until emulsified.
- If you are making to freeze, 🛑 ✋ stop here and put into freezable containers & place in the freezer.
- Add cheese and pulse to incorporate.
- If too dry add additional EVOO slowly, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Notes: If you plan to freeze for future use, do not add the cheese. Cheese should be added after being thawed. Great over pasta, fish, chicken, potatoes, sandwiches, etc…
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