Now that the nights are cooler, my basil plants are looking pretty tired. The leaves are beginning to turn a paler shade of green, and I will lose them to winter soon. It’s time for a quick harvest! Luckily, my Swiss chard greens are looking fabulous. Today we’re making a simple pesto using a combination of chard and basil, with pecans instead of the more popular (and very expensive!) pine nuts. This pesto freezes beautifully, and will provide you with the wonderful flavor of fresh basil all winter long.
Ingredients (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
6 cups loosely packed chard leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Step 1) Combine chard leaves, pecans, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until fairly smooth.
Step 2) Add basil, salt, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth, using a rubber scraper to incorporate ingredients if necessary.
Step 3) Use a teaspoon to fill each well of an ice cube tray with pesto. Place in freezer until pesto is completely solid, then remove pesto cubes and freeze in a resealable freezer bag.
Add individual cubes of pesto to sautéed vegetables, pasta sauces, soups, and casseroles all winter long!