Fresh Basil Pesto is a wonderful thing to have around all year long but unfortunately, basil is a seasonal plant. So when the weather is turning cold and demise of your basil plant is inevitable, put the basil leaves to good use and make this Jalapeno Basil Pesto recipe. Make a big batch of this “pesto with a twist” to use now and freeze the rest for later.
Basic Proportions: (feel free to double, triple, quadruple, …. )
Fresh Basil Leaves – 1 cup packed
Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Garlic – 2 large cloves
Jalapeno Pepper – 1 or to taste, roughly chopped
Walnuts – 1/4 cup
Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 cup
Olive Oil – 1/4 cup plus additional as needed for serving
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper – to taste
Lemon Juice – to taste
1. Remove Basil Leaves from the stems and wash well. Place them on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, cover with another towel and dab dry.
2. Heat 1 tsp Olive Oil in a skillet and quickly saute Garlic and Jalapeno on high heat. Remove into another plate to cool when Garlic turns light brown and Jalapeno skin starts to blister.
3. In a food processor, add Walnuts and pulse lightly.
4. Add cooled Jalapeno and Garlic and pulse lightly.
5. Add Basil Leaves and pulse until roughly chopped.
6. Add Olive Oil slowly while continuing to pulse.
7. Add Parmesan Cheese and process for about 15 seconds until mixture is smooth but still has a little texture.
8. Remove into a bowl and add Salt, Black Pepper and Lemon Juice to taste.
9. To serve as a dip with bread cubes, place a small amount of pesto in a plate, drizzle Olive Oil over the top and sprinkle some fresh ground black pepper.
1. Pesto will remain fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer.
2. To keep your pesto green, when you put your pesto in a jar to refrigerate, always make sure you have at least 1/2 inch of olive oil on top. When you remove a table spoon for cooking, just always make sure there is 1/2 inch of olive oil on top.
3. Also try mixing your cheese last. The food processor changes the taste of the Parmesan cheese so add it after your pesto is mixed.