Because pine nuts seemed super expensive, I decided to try and make pesto with another nut. Luckily I found Farmgirl Susan's Lower Fat, Full Flavor Basil Pesto, which uses almonds. I made a few changes and additions, and came out with a very garlicky, refreshing, and delicious pesto. I was unsure how lemon basil (which was what I had in the garden) would affect the recipe, but I thought it gave it a nice fresh little bite, without being as overwhelmingly lemony as the basil smelled on its own (maybe the best smell ever). Here's how we did it:
1/2 cup roasted and salted whole almonds
4 ounces fresh lemon basil leaves (about 4 cups packed - it's amazing how much basil it takes!)
6 large cloves garlic, peeled (if you're not a huge garlic fan - whaaaa?? - you might want to cut it in half)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Process the almonds and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the basil, cheese, and salt, and process until thoroughly combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil through the chute.
Look at that gorgeous green color! We ate ours with some pasta and a freshly sliced tomato - the first red one of the season from my garden! The thrill of eating food I grew and made has yet to get at all old....