Fresh Basil Pesto!

Basil is such a wonderful herb and adds so much flavor to any dish.  Pesto is so versatile in that it can be served so many ways and mixed into so many dishes.  Sometimes it is best just in a small crock with fresh crusty bread to spread it on.

Tip – fresh pesto can have the tendency to turn brown.  Although, not attractive, it does not affect the flavor.  To avoid the discoloration, I have added the lemon juice.  Also add a little more salt than you would think is ok, this also helps.  If you wash the basil, be sure it is reasonable dry as the excess moisture can also add to the discoloration. This recipe is without garlic, another ingredient that can cause reactions over storage time again, leading to discoloration.  As soon as the pesto is jarred, cover with lids and store in the refrigerator.

2 cups fresh basil, packed, leaves removed from stems

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

salt to taste

In a food processor, mince the basil leaves, add the lemon juice and pulse.  Add the pine nuts and puree, add the parmesan cheese.  Scrape down the sides if necessary.  Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream while processing until fully incorporated.  Add salt.  Immediately pour into containers and seal tightly.