Basil Pesto

Ingredients for basil pesto

  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves. I use mine fresh from the garden.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts. (With the price of pine nuts today I almost substituted walnuts or pecans, but to me the mild taste of the piñon nut is exactly right.
  • ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup (about) of olive oil.

Preparation of basil pesto

  • The classic way to make this pesto is in a mortar and pestle, and I’m sure the grinding action, crushing the garlic and basil leaves and mushing in the pine nuts, brings out the maximum flavor. But I find it messy and difficult and I use a small blender. It does a terrific job.
  • Peel the garlic toss it into the blender and chop as fine as possible.
  • Add the pine nuts and continue to blend.
  • Stuff in the basil leaves and pulse to break up the leaves.
  • As the leaves begin to break up, start adding the Parmesan cheese.
  • Pour the olive oil in to keep the mixture soft enough to blend.
  • And that’s it.

Basil pesto is great on a pasta of your choice. You can jazz it up a bit by adding some cooked and chopped vegetables to the pasta. The pesto goes well with potatoes and with cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces and served over a green salad.  But that’s just the beginning.  Experiment.  Pesto makes a nice crustini, for example, with a bit goat cheese.

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