One of my favorite herbs to grow is Basil. It is easy to grow and delicious to eat. It might be my favorite because I’m Italian and grew up with so many Italian foods. Basil is not only delicious but it has a lot of healthy nutrients like vitamin K. Vitamin K is in leafy greens like Kale and Collard greens but it is also found in Basil. Vitamin K is important for blood building and very important for pregnant women in their third trimester. Since I am about 6 weeks to my due date I’ve been making basil pesto quite often – not that I needed an excuse to make it.
This is a simple and delicious recipe that can be made in 10 minutes or less. It is absolutely the best when made from fresh home grown basil. Pesto is very versatile, it’s not just for pasta. You can get creative and use it as a marinade, topping, dip, and just as an add in to your favorite recipes. At the bottom of this post I listed some ideas on what do do with pesto to add it’s delicious flavor and health benefits to your meal.
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (from your garden is best!)
- 2 cloves of garlic – or Fermented Garlic for added health benefits
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly graded Parmesan cheese
- pinch of sea salt
Add the basil, garlic, and walnuts to the food processor and process until everything is chopped. Sometimes the garlic is stubborn so I cut it into slices before throwing it in. Using the hole in the top of the processor, slowly pour in the olive oil while running the food processor to incorporate the oil. Then add the Parmesan and salt and process until combined.
I have made this recipe three times in the last month, so delicious! The traditional way to eat it is on pasta but since we are low to no grain in our house I have been using it in many other ways. Here are some ideas:
- Use it as a dip for carrots & cucumbers
- Lightly saute vegetables and coat them with the pesto – I made zucchini this way and it was awesome
- Add to scrambled eggs
- Add into meatballs or burgers
- Spread on top of a baked potato
- Spread on top of baked or sauteed fish – works great with flounder, cod, and other white fish
- Add into chicken salad
- Add pesto into your favorite homemade salad dressing – works great with just oil and vinegar
- Spread on top of a whole chicken and roast it
For a different take on a pesto recipe (and to add extra veggies into it) you can also try this recipe for Broccoli Stem Pesto.
Do you make homemade pesto? What is your favorite way to eat it?