At Planet Organic, we're always on the lookout for innovative ways to incorporate our organic and sustainable products into your daily meals.
Today, we're thrilled to introduce a delightful recipe that promises to elevate your cooking experience: Basil & Lemon Balm Pesto!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Servings: About 1 cup
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, packed (See notes for other options)
- 1/2 cup chopped or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional, for added zing)
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Toast the Nuts: In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts (or walnuts) until they're golden and fragrant. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent them from burning. Once toasted, remove from heat and let them cool.
Blend Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the basil, lemon balm, pine nuts, and garlic. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add Olive Oil: While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue processing until the oil is fully incorporated and the pesto is smooth.
Add Cheese: Add the grated Parmesan cheese and pulse until combined.
Season: Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Adjust according to your taste.
Store or Serve: Transfer the pesto to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. If storing, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent the pesto from oxidizing. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. If serving immediately, enjoy it with pasta, spread on sandwiches, drizzled over salads, or as a dip!
- No access to fresh Lemon Balm? You can try infusing the olive oil with 2-3 tbsp of our Lemon Balm herbal tea. Leave it sit overnight, and strain before using.
- For a vegan version, you can skip the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute.
- If you find the flavor of lemon balm too strong, you can adjust the ratio of basil to lemon balm according to your preference.
- This pesto can also be frozen. Pour into ice cube trays, freeze, and then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag. This way, you can thaw only the amount you need.
Enjoy the aromatic fusion of basil and lemon balm in this delightful pesto. It's versatile nature makes it perfect for dipping, pasta, pizza sauce and a range of dishes.
Learn more about the benefits of drinking Lemon Balm tea here.