Summer means one thing— farmers markets galore. Vendors showcase whatever’s in season, which means peaches, strawberries, rhubarb, basil, zucchini, arugula, and more. At Mood of Living, we stopped by our local farmers market and picked up some fresh basil (nothing like you see in the supermarket!). They came in big bundles with the roots still attached, with the wonderful herb-y scent wafting out of the bags.
Find our recipe for a classic, versatile basil pesto below— use it for your pasta or grilling, but it is just as wonderful as it is on a slab of crusty bread.
2 big bunches of basil, washed and dried thoroughly
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of pine nuts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Coarse sea salt and ground black pepper
*We made this recipe according to our taste, which means you can decide how much olive oil, cheese and salt and pepper you would like to put into your pesto. Try out a little at first, and if the pesto is too bland, you can always add more later.
1. In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
2. Grind until a paste forms. Add salt and pepper.
3. Add basil and olive oil in increments— don’t overcrowd the mortar. Keep grinding each time you add basil and olive oil, and keep adding a little salt and pepper as you go (remember to keep tasting!)
4. Once you have finished incorporating all of the basil, add any final touches you deem necessary— extra salt, cheese, or olive oil.
5. If not using right away, transfer the pesto to a container with some olive oil on top, cover with plastic wrap, and put in freezer.
6. If you do not own a mortar and pestle, simply do the above steps in a food processor.