Pesto is a wonderful way to a add freshness and flavor to a variety of dishes from pasta
to chicken. It's also quite simple to make. Basil, like other herbs, can be pricey at the market. Plant some basil in your garden or even a pot and your kitchen will be supplied with an abudance of this sweet-smelling, versatile herb.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 3 Cups Fresh Basil, loosely packed with large stems removed
- 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts, lightly toasted in the oven or a dry skillet
- 2 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan, freshly grated (you can also use asiago, dry jack, pecorino Romano, or another dry cheese)
- 1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
Place the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until mixture is finely ground. Add about half of the olive oil and a handful of basil. Process until the leaves are incorporated. With the food processor running, add more basil through the feed tube, a handful at a time, until all the basil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add more oil to obtain the desired consistency.
Stir in the cheese with a spatula. Add salt to taste.
Pesto will keep, refrigerated, for one or two weeks.
Substitute different herbs for basil, such as parsley, cilantro, or mint.
Substitute different nuts for pine nuts. Walnuts are a common alternative.