When basil is in season, I can't make enough pesto. The classic Italian sauce native to Genoa tastes delicious on everything from pasta to pizza to grilled fish. It's excellent stirred into salads or slathered on sandwich bread. Although store-made pesto is widely available, it's easy to make. Pesto is simply an uncooked paste consisting of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It can be made with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can get creative with other herb, nut, and cheese combinations. To learn the basic technique,
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped.
- With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture forms a smooth and thick consistency. Add the Parmesan and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Makes 1-1 1/2 cups.
- Condiments/Sauces, Other