I'm so happy with my garden herbs this year! I planted a lot of basil because it smells divine, you can use it in many recipes and it dries well so you can use it throughout the year. A little later in summer, I'll do a video on how easy it is to dry herbs. Today, I'll share my recipe for homemade pesto sauce.

Before I get started, I'd also like to share some info on the nutritional value of basil and other ingredients. The US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central site shows basil is rich in vitamins A, K and beta carotene. Cleveland Clinic's website lists some of garlic's health benefits, including that it boosts immunity, acts an an anti-inflammatory, improves cardiovascular health and is great for your hair and skin. Olive oil, the focus of a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, is full of polyphenols, which are said to slow diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Follow my easy garden-fresh pesto recipe below, and you'll have a tasty summertime sauce for pasta, a spread for sandwiches or a dip.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 large cloves garlic (This makes the pesto very garlicky, so reduce if need be. You may use garlic powder instead of cloves)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly sautéed (see how to roast in directions)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tsp for cooking the pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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Directions:

In a small fry pan, sauté pine nuts in 1 tsp oil until lightly browned. Place the nuts, fresh basil, garlic cloves, olive oil and cheese in blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency. If you think the sauce is too thick, add a little oil or even a tiny bit of water and blend again. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.