Between my herb garden and my CSA shares, I’ve been getting lots and lots of basil lately. That inevitably leads to pesto. I have a recipe I’ve been using for a while already posted on this site, but I like this version just a little bit more. It was given to me by a friend of mine. Her family makes it as written below but swapping the ratio of cheeses, using 1/4 cup parmesan and 3/4 cup pecorino romano.
I love to use pesto on cheese-filled ravioli with some real bacon bits tossed in. It also makes a great sandwich spread with chicken breast or fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. And since it freezes so well it’s an excellent way to preserve your basil throughout the winter.
If you are allergic to pine nuts or just don’t like them, leave them out. You could also substitute a different kind of nut, like walnuts or hazelnuts. It’s pretty hard to screw up, so go with what you like.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place the garlic, salt and basil leaves in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the basil is chopped.
- Add the pine nuts and process until the mixture has the consistency of sand.
- Add both cheeses and pulse until they are well incorporated.
- While the machine is going, gradually add the oil and process until thick and muddy.
- Use immediately, or cover well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Pesto freezes quite well. Spoon mixture into ice cube trays, cover and freeze. Store cubes in a freezer-grade zipper bag. Thaw before using.