8 to 12 oz fresh basil - leaves on stem
1 cup raw fresh walnuts halves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T raw pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, raw
4 sprigs mint
1.5 teaspoons gourmet vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
optional: 30 raw whole pine nuts
Preheat oven to exactly 400 degrees.
Wash mint. Pick leaves off stems. Discard stems.
Pick the leaves off the basil stems and discard any parts of the stem that are tough or won't chop well.
Dry the leaves. A salad spinner works well for this.
Toast walnuts in a metal brownie pan in 400 degree oven for 6 to 10 minutes (shake them up at 4 minutes).
Toast pine nuts in a separate pan at the same time.
Allow 10 minutes for nuts to cool.
Chop the basil and mint leaves very finely.
Put the leaves in a bowl and mix in olive oil, vinegar, salt.
Press 3 cloves garlic into the bowl.
In a blender or food processer, grind the walnuts to the size of sunflower seeds or a little smaller.
Add the nuts into the bowl and mix.
Yields 2 cups pesto.
Easy Basil Pesto
Pesto tastes best when made with good parmesan cheese. This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, and is the best tasting in its category. Parmesan cheese may be added to this recipe to taste (of course, then the pesto will no longer be vegan).