Summer is a great time to enjoy Easy Walnut Basil Pesto; good bread and pesto make an excellent addition for quick light meals. There is nothing like enjoying good crusty bread dipped in pesto, with a fresh veggie salad or a warm bowl of soup on a summer’s eve. Pesto is typically used as a dipping sauce for crusty type pieces of bread. There are many other tasty ways to enjoy pesto; it pairs well with tomatoes, try drizzling it over fresh sliced tomatoes, oh so good. It can be used as a seasoning to enhance flavors of pasta and pizza, or as a tasty marinade for grilled chicken and steak. Easy Walnut Basil Pesto uses English walnuts instead of the commonly used pine nuts, as walnuts are often more readily available, less expensive, and they make a great tasting pesto. This recipe is super easy and the preparation time is about ten minutes.
Basil is a favorite herb, that is very aromatic with a unique flavor, that has become famous for the many pesto dipping sauces. Easy Walnut Basil Pesto consists of these healthy ingredients; olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and basil. These natural ingredients are little powerhouses containing antioxidants with many additional health benefits. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that is good for our heart because it helps raise good cholesterol. English walnuts are high in antioxidants, which help protect your body from toxins in the environment. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that help support a healthy immune system. Basil is anti-bacterial, the July issue Journal of Microbiology Methods found essential oil of basil known to obstruct certain types of harmful bacteria. Many kinds of bacteria today have become more resistant to antibiotic drugs; conversely, bacteria will not grow resistant to basil. Furthermore, basil has anti-inflammatory properties that can offer healing benefits for those who suffer from inflammatory health issues like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders. It makes good sense to include these nutritious ingredients in your daily meals and eating pesto is a perfect way to make this happen.
How to Use Your Basil
Basil is an easy to cultivate herb that can be grown from seeds or plants and is very adaptable to a variety of soils. An excellent time to plant is late spring after the last frost date of your region. Consider planting this easy-going herb in a planter or in the garden. The beautiful thing about having it growing in a planter is, it can easily be brought indoors for winter, and you will have fresh basil to add to your favorite pasta dishes. Or if you do plant it in the garden keep in mind, it is very frost sensitive; but no worry, in the fall you can dig a few plants up and transplant them indoors. An excellent location in the house for basil would be a bright sunny location. Water regularly, noting that basil seems to take a little more water than regular house plants, it probably should be watered every 2-3 days, depending on the type of potting soil and humidity in your home. Basil will let you know when it needs water by wilting, and it usually does bounce back when watered, as long as it was not too dry for too long.
Along with the health benefits and culinary versatility, basil has profit potential. A short three-foot row of basil in the garden will likely provide you an overabundance of this tasty herb. Particularly if you plant Genovese basil, which has large tender leaves and grows 2- 3 feet tall. There are multiple ways to manage your excess. A food dehydrator can be used to dry the succulent leaves, making dried basil, which can be used in place of fresh. Did you know that you can freeze basil? Basil can be frozen, in the form of pesto, by merely filling ice cube trays with pesto and storing the cubes in the freezer. The cubes can be conveniently added to your pasta sauces and marinades, adding the delightful flavors of summer to your cookery. Fresh basil has good selling potential in farmers markets when sold fresh, dried, or made into pesto and can be combined with homemade bread. Inclusive With all of these factors, health benefits, easy to cultivate characteristics, selling potential and great flavor, basil is a herb that should be grown in your garden and often used in your daily meals.
Easy Walnut Basil Pesto
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup olive oil
½ cup English walnuts
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth or desired consistency. You can keep the walnuts a little chunkier by pulsing a little less. Once you have it at your desired consistency, it is ready to eat; however, it will taste better if you let sit 2-3 hours before serving. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. When storing in the fridge sometimes olive oil will separate a little, merely stir it, and it will be ready to eat.