Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Basil Pesto

This is without question one of the staples of our household, a "comfort food." In the summer, we make pesto most weekends once sweet basil is available in July or so. By the time the first frost has ended the year's crop, we usually have over a gallon - 4 liters - of it, frozen in 8 ounce containers. So far, that gets us through until the next year.

In a food processor, combine
  • 4 cups loosely packed sweet basil leaves
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • ½-3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste;
blend with good olive oil until its consistency is a paste (maybe 1/2 cup olive oil, or a bit more).
We serve it or freeze it at this point, and eat it all year long.

Serve over any kind of pasta - spaghetti, fettucini, tortellini - whatever you like most.
Add lots of Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table.

But wait! Before you clean out that food processor, think about making a batch of hummus or baba ganouj in it. The basil et al. will give a subtle and delicious undertone to the next dish.

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