Hello from the Land Where Basil Dies!
My herbs are sad, folks.
Luckily, though, my grandparents and mother are fantabulous gardeners, and gave me a massive quantity of basil a few weeks ago.
So, naturally, I made pesto.
It's easy, it's delicious, and there are SO many things you can do with it.
Let's make pesto!
Here's what you need:
- 3 - 4 cups pesto leaves
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- ¼ - ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic
Yum! This smells so dang good.
Now, first, toast the pine nuts if they aren't already toasted. Toss them in a dry pan over medium-low heat, and shake them around for 3 minutes or so until they're nice and golden - this will happen fast, so don't let them burn!
Wash the basil and remove any large stems, then place it in a food processor. Zest the lemon directly into the food processor bowl - this is the secret ingredient!
Then, add the parmesan and garlic cloves....
....then ¼ cup olive oil and the pine nuts, along with a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Yum! Now, give this all a whir in the food processor. If it immediately sticks to the sides, stream in more olive oil and lemon juice one wedge at a time until it forms a smooth paste.
Now, taste! Add more of anything except garlic - the garlic flavor will concentrate a lot as the pesto sits, so don't worry if you can't taste it too much right at the beginning. I usually go with more salt and lemon juice.
I should note to you that when I make pesto I usually get full before I actually cook anything with it - it's that good! You could spread this on toast, mix it with mayo and sour cream for a delicious dip, or....make pasta!
We'll get to that tomorrow. It's easy and delicious.
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