Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto

Recently my hubby celebrated his birthday and one of his choices for a dinner out was a tasty family-owned pizzeria. We ordered something new to us, pesto pizza. It was delicious. They have a wonderful pizza crust, smothered in pesto and mozzarella cheese. It inspired me to take some of the tons of fresh basil we have growing in our yard and make some pesto! I used walnuts for this and toasted them in the oven to give them alittle extra toasty flavor. Just spread them on a sheet pan and toast in a 350'F oven for about 8-10 minutes until fragrant and just browned, but not burned. :o)
Pulse food processor to chop nuts
Add basil and garlic and pulse again
Add Parmesan and stream in the olive oil
finished pesto...yum!

Recipe: 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Special equipment needed: A food processor
1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta, on sandwiches, over toasted baguette slices or make a pesto pizza!  
*I like to freeze the sauce in small-one meal portion-zip top bags, or you could freeze it in ice cube trays for easy 1-ounce measuring.

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