Pesto is the perfect addition for most anything. From bread to pasta, cheese to chicken, its sharp distinct flavor and powerful punch makes me reel with delight. Even in the garden, it’s one of my favorite herbs to grow. One simple “brush” with this plant, and I carry its fragrance for hours.
Better yet, it’s easy to make!
Classic Pesto Sauce
4 cups fresh basil leaves (about 3 large bunches)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp coarse kosher salt (I like Himalayan salt!)
Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic in a blender.
Blend until a paste forms. If your basil flies up the sides of your blender, gently push it back down and encourage assimilation with the other ingredients.
Add cheese and salt and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and enjoy! Can be made 1 day ahead. Tip for storing: cover your sauce with 1/2 inch layer of olive oil before chilling.
Variations include: Walnuts instead of pine nuts to provide an omega-3 advantage. Or how about a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino Sardo, Asiago–have fun with it! Why not add parsley leaves to the mix? Maybe create a cilantro version with a dash of lime or chili peppers? Feel free to experiment!