- 2-1/2 oz fresh picked, washed & dried basil leaves (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
- 2 peeled garlic cloves (+/- to your liking)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 - 20 grinds black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, split
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, split
- 1/2 cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
Put basil leaves, garlic cloves, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor. Process until chopped well. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup pine nuts. Process with a few on/off bursts. To add olive oil – turn on processer and pour a consistent stream into the basil mixture. Stop, then add the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup pine nuts. Process with just a few on/off bursts to leave a bit of texture to the pesto.
A few helpful hints:
Even though the flowers from the basil plant are edible, try not to include them, or the stems, in the pesto. They can add an unwanted bitterness.
Try making “single origin” pesto – using one type of basil leaves in a batch, so you can enjoy the unique flavor of each type of basil (example – Thai or cinnamon basil, lemon or lime basil). After sampling them singly, try mixing the flavors to your preference.
This recipe makes a thick, less oily pesto. To help it blend easily with pasta, save a bit of the pasta cooking water and while the water is still very hot, add a bit of it to the pesto to thin it until it is a good sauce consistency. Blend the pesto sauce through the pasta.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Laurie Bell, GreatFallsTeaGarden.com