Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I’ve already given you my directions for making pesto, but they’re embedded within another recipe. The other night, as I was putting together an easy pizza with pesto, tomatoes, and mozzarella (to use up the leftover canned tomatoes I had in the fridge), I realized that given the frequency with which I use pesto, it deserves its own post. Also, I find this photo of the bright green pesto in its little bowl very cheerful.
This recipe ain’t no fancy thing—it’s just from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, my default resource for making standard foods like pancakes and eggs and chicken noodle soup. It’s simple as all get-out to whip up—just throw some stuff in a food processor or blender and puree away. But, like homemade chicken stock, it makes worlds of difference in a recipe. I’ve never tasted a pre-packaged pesto, even at Trader Joe’s, that’s even half as good. Whenever I have spare basil, I make a batch of pesto (or a half-batch, even) and throw it into the freezer for later, which makes it darn near convenience food. Serve on pasta, pizza, meat, veggies, bread, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup firmly packed fresh parsley sprigs, stems removed
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
1 large clove garlic, peeled and quartered
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1. Place basil, parsley, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture forms a paste.
2. Add the olive oil and continue to process until the pesto is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Yield: about ¾ cup
Time: 15 minutes
Leftover potential: High