My friend Shannon told me I should make Pesto since I have an over abundance of basil growing in my garden. I immediately shot that idea down-saying it just looked too "green" and couldn't possibly taste good. And I honestly meant it and had no intention of trying it. But then when I was out in the garden today I realized there is no way I will be able to use all this basil and since I was making spaghetti sauce anyway I figured it wouldn't hurt to try the pesto (and still have another sauce on hand in case it was horrible). Well, I was wrong-it was actually very good! I used a recipe (allrecipes.com) that uses walnuts since that's what I had on hand, now I want to try it with pine nuts to see how that changes it. The biggest shocker of all time is my son (almost 3) who hates anything green or remotely vegetable like loved this stuff!! He ate it by the spoonful while I was making dinner and then ate all his pasta I fixed him and asked for more pesto sauce when I was storing the left overs. So this was a winner recipe in our house. My husband thought it was OK and I don't think my daughter (4.5) really liked it, but she said she liked it "medium"-I'm sure because her brother liked it so much she didn't' want to be outdone:)
I used 3 garlic cloves (from my garden) and 1/2 c. of cheese. Other than that I followed the recipe pretty spot on. I don't have a food processor (mine broke after about 4 uses) so I used a blender. I didn't think it was going to work at first, but once about 1/2 c. of the oil was in it finally started blending.
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.