Sunday, September 29, 2013

Basil Pesto

There are many various recipes for pesto but the version here, the first one I learned, is still my favorite, especially when I'm in the midst of a garden harvest of fresh basil as I am now. A very simple and delicious take on it, all I need is a bowl of hot pasta and some good bread to enjoy it. And it freezes very well for quite a while. 

4 cups fresh basil leaves, stemmed and cleaned
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano 
1/2 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Add the basil to a food processor with the pine nuts, garlic cloves, cheese and a couple of tablespoons of the oil. Turn on the processor and, while it's running, slowly pour in the remaining oil and process until a smooth paste. Open the bowl to scrape down the sides then add a couple more pulses to finish.
Splash the lemon juice on the pesto to keep the color then store in the frig until ready to use. This also freezes well for a few weeks.

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