Mondays used to be downright depressing most weeks (case of the Mondays anyone?). I dreaded knowing that the “light at the end of the tunnel [weekend]” was actually florescent lighting over an office desk that I would then sit at for hours at a time until Friday finally came back around again. Mondays are much friendlier now, marking the beginning of weeks full of potential and new things. I get excited about what each new week will hold and aside from appointments, grocery shopping and cleaning, I usually have very few plans set in stone, making things even more interesting. Mondays now greet me with a smile, asking me what I’m most excited about – what will I get to create this week? what will I do that I have never done before? It has become a very comforting existence that I have embraced wholeheartedly.
Before becoming a self-proclaimed stay at home dog mom I truly believed that I had a black thumb rather than a green one. When Matt and I decided to build our first garden, he did all the work and when I was left to help him, I ended up allowing most of the plants to die… except for our basil and rosemary plants that I am pretty sure would outlive me if given the chance! Even with the few plants we were able to grow to harvest, it was rare that I would take the time to actually do anything with them when it came to my home cooking. I felt overwhelmed already trying to make home cooked meals every night after work. I never felt I would have the time to do something like making homemade pesto! I used to buy the Classico brand of pesto (which is still one of my favorite brands for pasta sauces) but according to my husband I am no longer allowed to buy store bought pesto after he tasted my homemade version- such a good feeling since I never considered myself a very good cook…
Since Basil grows like a weed at our house I am excited to get to make and freeze a bunch of these homemade pesto balls to use in everything from soups and stews to casseroles and pasta dishes! It feels like such a win! I wanted to share my recipe for these pesto balls and please know that I am NOT a recipe follower which also makes me a pretty terrible recipe writer… I tend to eye everything and go by taste from there but I am writing this up nonetheless, enjoy!
In order to make these homemade pesto balls you will need the following:
- Food processor (I use my small one for this recipe)
- Parchment Paper
- Small Oven Pan
- About One cup of fresh basil (packed), If you do not have a full cup, use some spinach for the rest of the cup!
- 1/3 cup of Olive oil (I never measure this, I just pour until I like the consistency..)
- 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese (I have been using the “shakey” cheese but at some point I plan to use the “good stuff” and actually buy a block of fresh Parmesan)
- handful of chopped walnuts – recipe calls for 3 tbsp but why would I get a tbsp dirty when I can just pour a good bit into my hand?? Ain’t nobody got time for that!!! You can also use pine nuts (most recipes call for them) but I always have chopped walnuts on hand since Matt loves them in his ice cream! Plus you can get them pretty cheap at Aldi!
- 3 cloves of garlic (I use the minced garlic in a jar, also from Aldi!)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I tend to overdo the spices so I have to hold back on that for this one or it ends up being way too salty!)
How to make it!
- wash your basil leaves and let them dry
- put all the ingredients except for the olive oil in the food processor and mix until everything is good and minced.
- Add in the olive oil a little at a time as your food processor is going until you like the consistency of your pesto!
- Get your parchment paper cut and place it on an oven pan
- Use a spoon to plop balls (runny ones…) onto the parchment paper
- put them in the freezer for a few hours
- transfer them to a bag or freezer safe storage container to use whenever you want!
Have fun making your own homemade pesto balls!! I love making them as they are super easy. The hardest part is cleaning out the food processor, the olive oil just does NOT want to wash off!!!