Every summer we make a project
of producing enough pesto sauce to last us through the coming winter.
First we make a trip to the Farmer's Market where we buy the best cheese, olive
oil, pine nuts, and garlic at great prices. Then we take advantage of our
friend Mike's garden which is planted abundantly with sweet basil as well as
other varieties, and we have a pesto-making party!
cup extra virgin olive oil
(Can add a little more if necessary)
4 cloves garlic (Can add a more if you want)
¼ cup pine nuts (pinon) - Toasted – brown briefly in skillet
(no oil) till golden
Approximately 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (packed) - (Variety of your
choice -- opal, green, cinnamon, etc., or mixture of several varieties works
fine.) Wash and remove major
stems (not necessary to remove all) – I put them in the salad spinner to get
rid of excess water
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated - Use the real stuff –
no processed stuff allowed!
oil first into blender; add garlic and pine nuts and blend till smooth.
Add basil leaves in 2-3 batches, blending each batch thoroughly.
Add grated cheese and continue to blend until smooth.
We freeze this in ice cube trays, then pop out and store in Ziploc bags till
ready to use. To use, take out to
thaw about an hour before using, or else thaw in the microwave (be careful –
usually 30-60 seconds is enough). You
may want to add a little more olive oil to the pesto.
Pesto Sauce on top of cooked pasta, garnish with toasted pine nuts and
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, serve with a nice French bread and white
Also makes a good spread on
halved French bread; put under the broiler and sprinkle with a little more
Make pizza with chicken,
pesto and pine nuts with Monterey Jack cheese.
For a different twist on the
usual pesto sauce, try our recipe for Green