Who doesn’t love a good serving of pesto? It can be used on pasta, sandwiches, as a spread, or just on some crackers.
Once we kept the slugs away from the basil by getting them drunk, it really took off. Now I have enough to make pesto every week.
If you keep the ingredients on hand, pesto can be made in just a few minutes. I don’t use a recipe when making pesto since I have made it so often. So, today I have once again gone to my girl Ina and am sharing the Barefoot Contessa’s pesto recipe.
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup pine nuts (NOTE: I use sunflower seeds).
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil (I use way less oil).
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.
This is the best shade of green. And get this – if you don’t have basil, you can substitute parsley for a different flavor.