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Dried Basil Pesto

dried basil pesto
Dried Basil Pesto

Dried Basil Pesto

Dried Basil Pesto is much like pesto made with fresh basil leaves, except when you can’t find fresh basil. If your dried basil is fresh it will still impart the basil, pine nut, Parmesan cheese flavor you expect.

Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce made from basil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. It’s more of a spread but by adjusting the olive oil, the consistency can be made thinner or thicker depending on the recipe or how you are using it. It has many uses, like a bread topping, as a salad dressing when thinned with more oil and vinegar, with escargot, tossed with fresh pasta, added to guacamole, and so many more ways.

We have a Cherry Walnut Pesto Chicken Salad recipe on our website.  You can use it to make sandwiches, as a side dish, or main dish for a light meal. For the recipe, please click HERE.

Makes about ¾ Cup

¼ Cup Pine Nuts
3 Tablespoons Dried Basil
¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Put the pine nuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat. Toast them for about 3 to 5 minutes until they mostly turn a golden brown, stirring frequently. Watch so they do not burn. Once they start to turn golden, they will finish fast, so watch close and stir constantly.

Put the pine nuts in a food processor with the basil, garlic, and Parmesan. Process into a paste. Drizzle the oil into processor until smooth. You can use a bit more oil if you want your pesto a bit thinner.

Refrigerate for a couple hours until ready to use. The time also allows the dried basil to rehydrate. The pesto might start to thicken, so you might let it come to room temperature before using so the oil thins. Store any unused pesto in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.