It’s summer. Like, really, for real, hot, humid, sunny summer. At least here.
I mean, the calendar even verifies it; the summer solstice was just a week or so ago.
I love summer so much.
It’s probably because I’m a teacher by trade. When you’re a teacher, summer is the reward for a long year of convincing kids to learn, walking the line between happy encourager and strict disciplinarian, and grading papers until you can’t see straight.
It’s the carrot that gets you through those months between President’s Day weekend and Spring Break.
For some, it’s the actual reason that they became teachers.
Well, that and the whole “inspiring the next generation to greatness” thing.
Flavors of Summer
There are so many things to love about summer, and I am certain to wax poetic on them over the next few weeks, but one of my favorite things is the flavor of summer. Summer is all fresh and bright tastes and smells. From berries and lemonade to tomatoes and veggies– there are so many great things to eat in the summer. And I love that I can just walk outside and grab something yummy from my garden.
Which I love.
Especially with tomatoes.
But tomatoes are still a few weeks away here in Pennsylvania. However, the basil is ready to go. We were away for a few days last week, and I came home to huge basil plants and a mountain of basil. It smells pretty awesome up in here.
SO, this is the season for making pesto. Have you ever made your own pesto? It’s so easy and so tasty– it’s a must do for just eating fresh and also throwing in the freezer for quick meals all year long.
- 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ¾ cup walnuts (or pine nuts or even pumpkin seeds can work in a pinch!)
- 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Some water to thin it a bit, if desired.
- Combine basil, garlic, and black pepper in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.
- Add nuts; process until smooth.
- Add cheese and process again until smooth.
- With the machine running, pour the olive oil in the food processor and blend until smooth. If the pesto seems too thick pour in a few tablespoons warm water.
- Store in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins for perfectly portioned servings before transferring it to baggies or jars when frozen.
How to Use Pesto
Pesto is delicious tossed with pasta and some fresh tomatoes, spread on a baguette with some roasted veggies on top, or just eaten from the jar with a spoon.
If you need some ideas on how to use your freshly made, awesome pesto, check out some of these great ideas, or follow me on Pinterest, where I’ve been pinning all of the pesto things. Pesto can be stored in the fridge for a good long while, it actually never makes is very long around these parts.
What are your favorite summer foods? What’s your favorite pesto recipe?