Bite Of Minnesota: Small Batch Basil Pesto

Is your garden overflowing yet? I have a small container garden on our patio and mine is already producing a bunch of goodies. I've been keeping an eye on the basil and using it for recipes regularly but recently saw a huge growth spurt and decided to trim it all and use it for a small batch of pesto.

Making pesto is easy if you have a food processor. Heck, you can even make pesto using a knife or mortar and pestle, but in this instance I used my food processor. Most pesto recipes are the same: basil + toasted nuts + cheese + garlic + olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper for seasoning. I made a very small batch (again, container garden), so double or triple this recipe depending on how much basil you have.

While I intended to stash this batch away in the freezer for use this winter, I came across a fellow blogger's pesto cheese dip recipe and couldn't resist whipping it up for a weekend snack. We easily polished off a bag of crackers devouring this dip. Head over to Emily's A Nutritionist Eats blog for the recipe.

Small Batch Basil Pesto
(makes 1/2 cup)

1 cup basil, washed and dried, packed
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Add basil, nuts, parmesan and garlic to a food processor and process until combined. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and process again until mixture is smooth. If necessary, add additional olive oil to smooth mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings before transferring to a small container. Pour a layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto mixture to prevent browning. Store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for later usage.