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In my house, summer equals tons of homemade goodies fresh from the garden! One of our favorite artifacts of summer is good homemade Pesto Sauce. The good news is that you don’t need a garden to make this. Pick up some basil at your favorite grocery store, some fresh seeds or nuts, and throw them in a blender!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • 7 ingredients or less
  • Ingredients can be substituted
  • Delicious basil flavor
  • Fresh tasting and cheesy

During the summer, I love to plant several varieties of basil for their fabulous color contrasts in the garden as well as their wonderful tastes. I first made this pesto sauce using a combination of Genovese, Dolce Fresca, and Amethyst basils. These days, I stick with mainly Genovese basil since its flavor is more robust and the smell is heavenly. Try this pesto with the pasta, pizza, and chicken dishes. It is divine!

Fresh Genovese and Amethyst Basil

USING HOMEGROWN BASIL

During the summer, my pots and garden beds are bursting with different basil varieties. One of my favorites is Genovese basil, which has the sweetest aroma and taste. It is the basil you see on Neapolitan and Margherita pizzas. It is also the basil you taste in many pesto sauces.

Using fresh homegrown or potted basil is more economical than buying it from the grocery store. Not only will you get continuous basil growth during warm seasons, but your pesto sauce will also last longer.

You can typically find bulk packages of basil, however, at Trader Joe’s or Kroger.

Pezibear / Pixabay

HOW TO MAKE IT CHEAPER

Pine nuts are so expensive! Fortunately, they can be substituted for more affordable nuts. Try using sunflower kernels for the most economical version of the recipe. Next, you can try using walnuts, almonds, or pecans, or a combination. The flavor may be a little different, but it will still taste very good.

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Homemade Pesto!

TOOLS

Blender, Nutribullet, or Ninja

Pesto Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 Ounces

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (3oz/75g) fresh basil leaves, washed and firmly packed
  • 3/4 cups (115g) grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (45g) pine nuts, or less expensive seeds or nuts such as sunflower kernels, almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • 1/2 cup (115g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the basil, parmesan, nuts, and garlic into a food processor and blend until smooth. While the processor is running on low, stream in the olive oil until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

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