summer fresh basil pesto

I’ve never had much success with herb gardens. Try as I might, my attempts at growing herbs indoors have all resulted in sad-looking, wilted greens that never yield enough for more than a few recipes. I envy those with green thumbs. If you are blessed with an abundant garden, you may have plenty of basil on your hands around now. Pestos and herb sauces are a great way to use up a lot of greens and infuse ‘herby’ flavor into your cooking repertoire.

Whether you pick from your garden, stock up at a farmer’s market, or prefer the grocery store, get your hands on a bundle of basil and whip up this fresh sauce. Traditional pestos can be oily and heavy; I lighten it up with lemon juice and water to cut the amount of oil in the sauce. Its bright flavor will liven up your summer meals; this pesto if perfect with grilled fish or meat, drizzled on steamed vegetables, or tossed with your favorite pasta.

Summer Fresh Basil Pesto


2 tablespoon pine nuts or walnuts
1-2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)
2 cups fresh basil, packed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


Add nuts, garlic and cheese (if using) to food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt and pepper. Process until thinned to desired consistency, adding more water if necessary.


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