Pesto

pestoEvery spring I plant basil and the plants always do so well that we can’t use it up fast enough. What to do? Basil pesto, of course! Here is a simple recipe. Note that pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients on hand. This isn’t a science – adjust the ingredients to your taste. Most pesto recipes call for Parmesan cheese, I often use Romano which has a stronger flavor. Most basil pesto recipes call for pine nuts but you can easily substitute walnuts.

If you want to freeze the pesto you make, leave out the cheese (it doesn’t freeze well). Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and fill each pocket with the pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use it, defrost and add in grated Parmesan or Romano.

Ingredients

  • About 2 c. lightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Place the basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are incorporated, but not completely smooth. You want some texture.
  • Gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss with hot pasta, spread onto pieces of grilled bread, mix into ricotta to use as a dip for veggies, whatever. This stuff is good.
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