fresh basil pesto sauce

There is nothing like fresh homemade pesto sauce. I grow my own basil (different varities) and make fresh pesto all summer long. It is such a versatile sauce. I've used it in pastas, quinoa salad, soups and probably countless other recipes. I've given you the regular version of pesto sauce including the parmesan and a couple of clever ways to make pesto without the cheese.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
~ 3/4 cup Parmesan*, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Small sqeeze of fresh lemon juice

*Substitute for Parmesan cheese:
3 TBSP mild tasting miso paste or/
1 TBSP nutritional yeast or/
leave out the cheese altogether and enjoy a stronger more basily pesto sauce

Method:
Place garlic along with basil leaves into food processor (or if you have one use your mezzaluna and start chopping). Blend.

Add the pine nuts and blend some more after scraping down sides.

Add freshly grated Parmesan. Blend.

Add olive oil and blend again.

At the end I like to add a small bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice to add a slight bit of tang and it helps the pesto keep its colour.

Set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Pesto can be frozen. So towards the end of the basil season make a whole lot of pesto and freeze it for use throughout the winter.

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