Pesto – a delicious and versatile condiment
15 mins, makes 1 portion
- 2 big bunches of basil or about 6 cups gently packed or any other green leaf
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, or any other nut
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or any other hard cheese
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Blend half the basil with the nuts, cheese, and garlic.
- Place 1/2 of the basil in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment or blender.
- Add the nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt and process or blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
- Blend in the rest of the basil.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl or pitcher and add the remaining basil.
- Process or blend until a uniform paste has formed, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl or pitcher as needed.
- Stream in the olive oil with the motor running.
Less olive oil will make a paste good for spreading on sandwiches and pizzas; more will make a sauce better for pastas and stirring into soup.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl or pitcher and continue blending as needed until the olive oil is emulsified into the basil and the pesto looks uniform.
- Taste the pesto and add more salt, garlic, nuts, or cheese as needed.
Pesto will darken and brown very quickly, but will still be tasty and fresh for several days. For best appearance, use it right away.
Store pesto in the smallest container possible with the smallest top surface area and thoroughly pack it in to eliminate air pockets. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface or press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pesto, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Pesto can also be frozen for several months.