Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Presto Pesto!

Our little basil plant got his (or her?) first major haircut last week. I have been wanting to make pesto for awhile, and now that our little basil is all grown up I could finally make a decent sized batch. This classic pesto recipe is fresh, extremely easy to prepare, and requires few ingredients. All you need to do is pull out that blender or food processor that you probably bought for making margaritas which is now collecting dust.  I dusted off my good ole Magic Bullet blender(remember those corny infomercials?). If you don't have a blender, you can be making your your own pesto with only 3 easy payments of just $33.33! Presto Pesto!

Classic Pesto
Recipe from Bon Appetit

4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (substitute with more Parmesan cheese if you don't feel like buying both)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1.    Combine first four ingredients in blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil.
2.    Add both cheeses and salt, blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch olive oil and chill.)
**If you are planning on freezing this, do NOT add in the cheese until you are ready to use the pesto.

There are many ways you can use pesto. To give you a few ideas, I like to use it as a spread on sandwiches, a topping for toast, or a sauce for pasta (add some cooking water to the pesto before mixing with pasta).

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