Monday, May 21, 2012
Basic Basil Pesto
Pesto is the best accompaniment to almost any savory dish in the summertime. I highly recommend always having a fresh basil plant in your kitchen because fresh herbs make a HUGE difference in recipes.
Here is a basic recipe for pesto since basil is one of my favorites! It's adapted from a bunch of recipes I've seen and tried over the years.
- 5 cups fresh sweet basil leaves (this is a lot, so plant huge basil plants if you have the room)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped*
- 1 head garlic, minced (usually about 10 cloves)...I love garlic because I grew up with it in my Italian household but feel free to use less if this is too much for you!
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup olive oil
- Freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste
*Pignoli or pine nuts are traditionally used in this recipe but I prefer the taste of walnuts.
Put all ingredients except olive oil together in a food processor and pulse until texture is chunky. Slowly add olive oil while pulsing. Stop when the mixture is fine but you can still detect small bits of basil. You want some of the bright green color in tact.
Pour over pasta, veggies or meat. Also makes a very flavorful marinade! I know someone who put this all over a leg of lamb and threw it on the grill...very good reviews!
Another suggestion is to substitute spinach leaves for some or all of the basil Great way to get some veggies into your kids!
You can store this in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for a few months.