Basil was the theme of this past weekend’s garden harvest. Piles of basil scented my kitchen while I hand-picked deep green leaves for their next journey to the table as…pesto. This is a simple and quick recipe to use when you have a little basil that needs to be used. Once done it can be frozen for future use. And can be used for any variety of food stuffs.
6 C of fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1 ¼ C parmesan Reggiano
¾ C toasted pine nuts
5 medium cloves of fresh garlic
2 Tbls of fresh lemon juice
½ to 1 tsp of kosher salt
¼ - ½ tsp of pepper
Up to 1 C of extra-virgin olive oil
Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Add ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of pepper and ½ of the olive oil. Process the ingredients on high until mostly blended. Stop, remove top and scrape down the processor bowl. Replace the top and continue blending until all ingredients are incorporated and texture is smooth. Drizzle more olive oil in while processor is running if pesto looks dry and has not come into a completely smooth texture. Taste. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Process to mix in salt and pepper if necessary. Stop processor, scrape pesto out of bowl into a non-reactive container, seal tightly and store in the refrigerator. Pesto can be stored in fridge for up to 1 week. Otherwise, use immediately with cooked pasta (1lb of cooked pasta to up to 1C of pesto).
Yields up to 2 1/2 Cups.
Tips & Permissions
*Pesto can be made with your favorite nut (always toasted).
*The cheese in pesto can be replaced with Grana Pandano or Manchego.
*Pesto can be frozen for up to 3 months in tightly sealed freezer bags.
*Pesto can be blended into cream cheese for a dip.