Harvest Time: Pesto Style
With a busy summer, keeping my basil alive has been a challenge; but thanks to my sister who has babysat my plants many times, my basil is thriving and it is almost harvest time. Well, I use basil all the time. It makes so many dishes taste amazing. But my absolute favorite is making pesto. And when I'm lucky to have enough basil, I like to make enough pesto to freeze to get me through the winter months.
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until well combined.
For freezer, store in a quart size freezer baggie. Tip: lay it flat to freeze to make it much easier when thawing.
Benefits of pesto:
Basil: This is one of the few recipes where we actually consume a lot of an herb. Usually, we eat just a little, but this packs it in. And basil has some benefits like a natural anti-oxidant. AKA fights stress in the body and free radicals which can cause damage.
Walnuts: the nut with the most alpha-lenolenic acid, the plant form of omega-3. AKA fights inflammation and good for the heart.
Garlic: More than 20 different known polyphenols in garlic all with different benefits (like anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, etc.). Fun fact, the content of some of those polyphenols increases when garlic has been chopped (like in pesto).
EVOO: standing for extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat AKA healthy fat
Recipe credit goes to my mom. We grew up eating this homemade pesto almost weekly (yes, my mom grew a ton of basil every summer to make it last) and it is still a favorite!