Summer. Warm weather, long nights and simple foods. A southern twist on pesto makes a perfect sauce for grilled chicken, grilled veggies, eggs, pizza - you get the idea. It goes with almost everything!
I grew up in the South and the pecan is my nut of choice. When a recipe calls for nuts of any kind, southerners will usually opt for pecans and I am no exception. Like most staple recipes, I have managed to work them into my life with little changes that are a nod to my roots.
I throw all the ingredients in a blender - easy! Hold your breath - I don’t toast the pecans. So, making this pesto is as quick as grabbing a good handful of basil from the garden and pulling the rest of the ingredients from the cupboard. In summer, there is always a jar in the fridge or in the freezer.
Throwing together a last minute cookout? Rub chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill. Serve topped with a generous amount of pesto.
Garden Note: Use any type of basil you like. Each type will give you a fun flavor variation. I have made pesto batches using Genovese, purple and lemon basil. Worried that the purple basil will turn into a brown mess - it doesn’t.
If you don’t have a blender - use a food processor, the traditional mortar and pestle or finely chop the ingredients and stir in the olive oil.
Pecans aren’t your thing? Use pine nuts, walnuts or almonds. Any nut will work.
Food Safety Note: You can safely store pesto in the refrigerator for only 3 days. If you can’t use it in 3 days freeze it in serving sizes. It thaws quickly.
A southern twist on the fresh summer pesto.
2 cups basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup pecans
2 peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil, more if you want a thinner pesto
Put garlic cloves, basil and pecans in a blender.
Pour on olive oil and pulse blender to incorporate. You may have to push down the ingredients and add more oil as needed. Being careful not to over blend.
Add Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend just until mixed.
Enjoy on pasta, grilled veggies, grilled chicken and seafood, eggs, pizza…………..
NOTES: Store Pecan Pesto in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for later use.