Every year late summer, early fall. when the temperatures start to dip below 40 F, I harvest all of my basil plants. The delicate basil leaves are very sensitive to cold, 35 F to be exact. If Mother Nature plays tricks on you and the temperature suddenly falls overnight the leaves turn black and are unusable. So as a yearly ritual I dry some of the basil leaves and make Pesto Sauce with the rest. Pesto sauce adds incredible flavor to variety of dishes, such as Pesto Shrimp, Pesto Chicken, or simply used as a spread in sandwiches, to name a few.
Homemade Pesto is very easy to prepare with only a few ingredients, and it tastes so much better than store bought. You do need a food processor to make this versatile sauce. I like to make pesto in large amounts and freeze it in small individual baggies. When I need it I defrost the baggies at room temperature and use it in my recipes when I need it. It is wonderful to have homemade pesto all winter. I don’t use pine nuts or any other kind of nuts. I really think it tastes amazing without it. Plus, I don’t have to worry about the family members and friends with nut allergies.
Process until uniformly chopped
Add grated Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper and process
Drizzle olive oil through the feed chute with the processor running
This beautiful sauce took only a few minutes to prepare!
To freeze, scoop the sauce into small zipped baggies and measure 4 ounces
Gently flatten the content with your fingertips
Put the baggies in a freezer bag and store
I have a feeling that once you taste this delicious homemade Pesto Sauce without nuts, you will never go back to the store bought variety!
- 5 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- Remove all the tough stems. Rinse the leaves under cold water in a colander. Drain all the water, then pat dry the leaves with a paper towel.
- Add the basil leaves and garlic to the food processor. Process for 2 minutes, turn off the processor and scrape sides down once.
- Add Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper. Process for another minute.
- With the food processor running add the olive oil through the processor chute gradually and process until smooth.