Our first attempts at growing basil were not very successful. Our basil plants had sad little stems with yellow leaves on them that finally just died. Much to our surprise, our basil plants in the last couple of years have turned into bushes. We started planting them together with our tomato plants. I also learned that you had to snip off the flowers to encourage more growth. I am happy to report that that trick really works. Now that we had bushes filled with basil, we needed to find something to do with it. We decided to make basil pesto.
I was so excited to learn that pesto is really easy to make. Every year we seem to tweak the recipe to try different flavor combinations. Last year we added Hungarian wax peppers to the recipe and absolutely loved it. I still go back to this basic pesto recipe because it is absolutely delicious.
Basil, Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic make for amazing pesto which is great all by itself, in sauce, as a dip or on sandwiches. My favorite way to serve this pesto is on pasta. It is just amazing.
We store the pesto in small Ball canning jars, label them with the date and store them in the freezer to use all year long. Pesto can be kept in the freezer for up to one year. The small jars of pesto make great gifts too.
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