And we finally get to the fruits of my labor!
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten at FoodNetwork.com
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted lightly
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly
4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
about 1 cup good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.
2. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
3. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
4. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. That’s it!
Note: instead of a food processor (which I don’t have) I used a magic bullet and did the steps a little out of order to add more olive oil in the earlier stages so it was easier to blend as a liquid. If you have a food processor, take advantage of it!
[didn’t that pesto plant trim down nicely? Here’s how I did it.]
According to Ina, “air is the enemy of pesto.” So if you’re not using all the pesto right away, when you freeze, I’d recommend rationing it into a ice cube tray and covering with seran wrap before popping it in the freezer. The pesto-cubes are a great trick I learned from my mom so you can have personal sized cubes of pesto when you’re ready to use it. Once it’s frozen you can pop the pesto-cubes out and keep them stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag or plastic tub for up to 6 months.
Once the pesto is finished, my go-to pesto recipe is just pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and grilled chicken. The simplicity of the recipe really lets the fresh pesto sing and the tomatoes add just a touch of sweetness and bite.