Summer is here and the livin’ is easy. My strategy this year is to not only enjoy the local bounty today but to also save some for a rainy day. So many years we just gorge ourselves on the local produce, and honestly think we never want to see it again. Then the winter months arrive, and surprise, surprise, we’re ready for a taste of summer.
At our local Farmer’s Market and in Lon’s farm stand, basil is ruling the roost. So, pesto it is! A few batches of pesto creates treats for months to come.
The Cooking Light magazine has bunches of wonderful summer time treats in the current issue, go figure, but several with pesto caught my eye. This was not one of those nicely planned, hmmmm, I’m making pesto, what else can I use it in this week kinds of things. Oh no! This was one of those, I want to make this, and that, and that other thing, and oh my, what a surprise that they all involve basil pesto. And at this point some people have their radar way up, considering the word “craving” and may I just stop you right now. No, nope, nada. This is really just about the love of the green. Really.
Warning, this is another recipe that will make measuring mavens crazy. These proportions worked for three hefty bunches of basil. But really, pesto is forgiving … you can do it!
Enjoy the basic basil pesto along with the sandwich pesto mayo and pesto dip options!
3 bunches basil, leaves removed
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups pine nuts
4 oz parmesan, grated
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1. Add add basil leaves, garlic and pine nuts to food processor. Pulse several times until roughly chopped. It should look like bulgar at this point.
2. Add parmesan and pulse processor again. Slowly add olive oil until it gently puddles at the top of the pesto. More oil may be needed depending on the temperature that day.
3. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
* The parmesan adds a bit of saltiness, so do taste the pesto after adding the cheese and before adding the salt.
* Don’t get frightened of salt here .. up to a point it just makes the flavor burst!