Whenever the basil plants in our garden start to get a little out of control, I have one thought on my mind: PESTO! It's delicious, easy to make, and it only takes minutes to prepare. I usually make a traditional pine nut pesto, but I didn't have any pine nuts on hand so I decided to work with the items in our pantry. After tasting this almond pesto, I might have to experiment with other nuts as well.
10-MINUTE TOASTED ALMOND PESTO
2 (tightly packed) cups fresh basil
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese*
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. sliced almonds
2-3 garlic cloves (you know how much garlic you like...)
salt and pepper, to taste
*Grocery store cheese in a plastic container works just fine, but if you're avoiding processed foods loaded with chemicals, I recommend checking out the cheeses at a farmer's market. Or, if you live in the dairy state of WI like I do, you can head to the nearest cheese store.
1. Toast almonds in a pan over medium high heat, stirring often. Almonds are done toasting when they are slightly browned and begin to release a (delicious) smell.
2. Add almonds, basil, garlic, and cheese to food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
3. Slowly add oil, pulsing to blend. Scrape sides as needed.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. You're done! Yes... it's really that easy!
|Toast almonds over med-high heat until they begin to brown and release a scrumptious smell.|
|Pulse almonds, basil, garlic, and cheese in food processor until roughly chopped.|
|Slowly add oil, pulsing to blend. Scrape sides as needed.|
|Your pesto is ready to serve! I enjoy it on baked potatoes, in a barley salad, or...|
|...layered with a hearty slice of fresh mozzarella and a chunk of garden fresh tomato. YUM!|