Fresh Basil Pesto

Pesto Sauce
Pesto makes an excellent base for a fresh pasta salad and is great even as dip. I also use it to make pesto pull apart rolls. It is really simple to make and can easily be frozen (minus the cheese).

I often make it with basil and sometimes with basil and avocado. In fact it is a flexible dip and can be made with any fresh herb and with nuts other than the traditionally used pine nuts! As per Farmer’s Almanac (the source of this recipe) ‘If you love pesto all year long, being confined to just basil can be a bit limiting. Luckily, there are many ways to make this delicious green sauce more versatile’. So I make mine with basil and pine nuts, basil,avocado and walnuts and most often with some cashew nuts thrown in. They make the sauce nice and creamy and give it a lovely flavour. Though the recipe does not call for it, I add some water, a tablespoon at a time, to get the consistency I like.

(Yields 1 cup Pesto)

1 cup packed basil, cilantro, or parsley
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts( I often use walnuts/cashew nuts/almonds or a mix of these)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I mostly use cheddar/Amul cheese)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp-1/4  cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients in the mixer-grinder/food processor and grind to get a somewhat smooth paste. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick. I almost always do.
Pesto Prep

Mix with pasta and veggies to get a quick salad. Use as a sandwich spread or as a dip. I often use it to make these pesto pull apart rolls. (Find the recipe for pull-apart rolls here)
Pesto Pull Apart rolls

To freeze, skip the cheese and freeze in ice trays. Transfer to a zip lock bag once frozen. To use, defrost and mix in some grated cheese.

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