Summer may be over, but the heat and my basil are still going strong. So why not squeeze in one last batch pesto before the frost sets in?
Though there are many variations, this is the original version: basil and pine nuts. Nothing beats the classic, but pine nuts are very expensive, so feel free to swap them out for walnuts – just keep the ratio of olive oil, basil and nuts the same.
Also, pesto isn’t just for pasta – it can be slathered on sandwiches, tossed with vegetables and (my personal favorite) eaten by the spoonful. Just note that air and pesto don’t get along; either use immediately, or store in an airtight container, in the fridge or freezer, with a thin layer of olive oil on top. Frozen, pesto can be enjoyed all winter long.
1/2 cup pine nuts
6 cloves of garlic
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups good, mild olive oil + more as needed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Fit a food processor with a steel blade, then blend pine nuts and garlic for 15 seconds.
2. Add the basil, salt, and pepper to the pine nuts and garlic. With the food processor on, slowly pour in the olive oil and purée til smooth.
3. Add the Parmesan and pulse for a few seconds more. If desired, add additional olive oil – a tablespoon at a time – to adjust consistency.