The end of summer is here. Sigh..Yay! Eh, I never know just how to feel. The kids are back in school, the weather is getting cooler, and my garden is thankfully full of deliciousness. I purposely plant a few basil plants when I am planning my garden so that I have a mountain of basil by this time of year. (Well, as long as the slugs don't eat it all that is). Luckily, I had enough to make not one but two batches of this amazing basil pesto and I might even be able to squeak in a third.
Pesto is easy and quick to make. It takes about 10 minutes to make with a food processor and it would only take a little longer if you chopped it all by hand. Besides lightly toasting the pine nuts, there is no cooking involved (which is especially good if you threw on a sweater because it is September but the weather is still annoyingly hot).
Fresh is best here. We pull the basil directly from the garden and use the best extra virgin olive oil we can find. Good parmesan is important as well. You can really taste the difference, the flavors pop and the basil is so fragrant that it is almost worth making a batch just to smell.
You start by toasting your pine nuts in a sauté pan until they are fragrant. Be careful, they can go from fragrant to burnt in half a heartbeat.
Next peel the garlic and toss it into the food processor and chop until it's chopped small. Add the basil, pine nuts, and salt and pulse until they are small and uniform. Stop before you get paste, small little pieces tend to work better for the finished pesto. Besides, you still have a bit of work to do before you are done.
With the food processor running, add the oil until it is fully combined. The mixture will look impossibly wet, but don't fret! The grated parmesan will soak up a lot.
Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated parmesan. If it gets too dry you can add just a touch more olive oil to smooth it out.That's it. It's ready to serve with pasta or on toast or anything your heart desires. Pesto will only keep for a couple of days though. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. To keep the color bright green longer, you can also add a layer of plastic wrap right on top of the pesto, tucked in like a warm blanket.
Only five ingredients but oh so full of flavor. A wonderful sauce for pasta or to use as a spread or even over salmon. So many possibilites.
- 1 Cup fresh basil, washed
- 2 Cloves fresh garlic
- 1 Ounce pine nuts
- 1/3 Cup grated parmesan
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Gently toast the pine nuts in a small sautee pan until they are light brown and fragrant. Remove from hear and set aside.
2. Peel the garlic and pulse in a food processor. Add the basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper to the food processor. Pulse until uniform (but not paste).
3. With the food precessor running, drizzle in olive oil until well combined. Mixture will seem very wet.
4. Remove pesto from the food processor to a bowl and fold in the grated parmesan. Serve right away to keep the color it's freshest.