Pesto is one of those things where after making it once and realizing how easy it is, you'll never buy it in the store again. It's most commonly used as a pasta sauce, but I probably use it most for sandwiches or when I want to jazz up my cheese toast. Spread some pesto on french bread, sprinkle a little bit (or a lot) of cheese on top, stick it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until the cheese gets all bubbly and melty, and you have yourself a delicious little snack. Pesto can also be used as a garnish on top of soups like tomato bisque or vegetable.
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, rinsed (dry in a salad spinner if you have one, or just between two paper towels)
- 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt & pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse 7-8 times until all the contents are chopped and no big leaves remain.
- With the food processor on, gradually pour in olive oil.
- Remove lid and scrape down sides and lid with a rubber spatula. Add parmesan to the mix and pulse until it is all incorporated.
- At this point it is ready to use. If you like a smoother pesto, pulse a few more times until it gets to the desired consistency. If you're not using the pesto right away, store it in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil on top.
Remember, pesto is not limited to pasta! With a little extra oil it makes a great marinade for chicken or shrimp, perfect for a salad or to serve with quinoa. Also, if you don't have a food processor, a blender works just fine - just keep an eye on it as you're blending so it doesn't completely liquify. I hope you enjoyed my first video! More to come.