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Summer's Freshest, Fastest Family Meal: Pesto!

In August, when fresh basil is abundant in the garden, pesto is my family's favorite meal. Using just five healthy ingredients that are a cinch to keep stocked, you can whip up this versatile sauce in five minutes flat. Then use it to top anything from pasta and veggies to burgers and grilled salmon. My teenage son loves it as a sandwich spread with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. For a light, gluten-free lunch, I mix it into a raw, grated zucchini.

Since pesto pasta is good at room temperature, it's also perfect to serve to company on the patio or to bring as a side dish for a barbecue. Plus, it simply tastes like summer.

RECIPE: Miller Family Famous Pesto

Yields: One generous cup (good for a pound of past)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups tightly packed basil leaves

4 cloves peeled garlic

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Put all of the above ingredients in food processor and blend to desired consistency.
  2. Use as a topping for pasta, fish, veggies or meat.
  3. Keeps for a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Freezes well.

Additions: Add a teaspoon of lemon and few dashes of sugar if the basil leaves are bitter.

Image via Sandra A. Miller

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