These days we are being over run with fresh basil. Never a bad thing, but it always stresses me out when they start to go to seed, which takes the sweetness out of the basil and results in a bitter flavor. It really bothers me to see things going to waste. I’m constantly nipping the tops off to preserve them for a little longer! So as I attempt to use it all I’ve come up with lots of recipes for fresh basil that we really enjoy in the summer. Even just throwing a bit in a fresh summer salad is delish.
Our favorite option, hands down, is fresh homemade pesto! Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe and changed it to suit our tastes. This is our final product that we are pleased with and really enjoy. The whole family can never seem to get enough of it and it never lasts long.
There are many benefits to eating lots of fresh basil. It is touted to help with acne prevention and quicker healing of an acne outbreak. It is thought that the oils have bacteria fighting properties that help clear the pores. It also works as an antidepressant, immune system enhancer, has anti-hypertensive benefits, contains antioxidants, and also has antitumor properties. It also has anti- inflammatory properties and contains iron and other vital nutrients. What’s not to like about it?
So if you feel the need to have more fresh basil in your diet, try my pesto recipe! It’s simple, not too expensive and there are lots of uses for it! I’ve added it to my homemade italian dressing to give it a little zest, put it on[amazon_link id=”B005LMCD8E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] kelp noodles[/amazon_link] for dinner, used it for a dip for fresh veggies, eaten it on chicken or in chicken salad, a spread for nut crackers and it can also be used in place of mayonnaise if you eat sandwiches (just thinking about it, makes me want to add grains back in… my mouth is watering just thinking about it!).
1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and picked off the stem
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup soaked and dried cashews
1 medium clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Just throw it all in the food processor/cuisinart and pulse until the desired consistency is reached… then enjoy!
Let me know what you think. Do you have any other ideas for uses?