I have an abundance of basil in my garden. That is the one thing that seems to keep growing, even if I seem to be losing the battle of the aphids to my other vegetables. Unfortunately, that means I need to start using it on a regular basis. Pesto seemed to be the perfect option yesterday, but I did not want to go to the store to get the necessary pine nuts; I also did not want the extra expense. I knew I had some peanuts in the pantry, so I decided to try substituting. The result was not bad. It is definitely a different taste, but it isn’t overwhelmingly peanutty, which was my big concern. I think I may even like it better this way.
3 cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup salted, dry roasted peanuts
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt to taste
Rinse the basil leaves and roll them up tightly in several paper towels. This will both dry them out and bruise them slightly to release more of the flavor. Put them into a food processor and pulse while gradually adding in the olive oil. When it is blended together; add the peanuts, garlic, and parmesan. Pulse until well blended. Taste and add the salt as needed. Serve over pasta and refrigerate leftovers until needed. You can also put it into ice cube trays and freeze to use later.