A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Pesto! Pesto!

Pesto! Pesto!

Last year I never had quite enough basil at one time either from my herb pot or from my CSA.  This week I scored a big bunch of basil from my CSA, and pesto was happening in my kitchen.

I did have to use a couple of springs from my herb pot to make a whole 4 cups.  I packed the four cups pretty firmly, then rinsed the leaves and spun them dry using the salad spinner.
After reading some notes on pesto recipes, I decided to toast the pine nuts.
The basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil went into the food processor first.
I pulsed it a few times, scraping down the sides with a spatula, then added both pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses. I also added the juice of one lemon, and a few grinds of sea salt.
Then I couldn’t help myself.  After pouring into a bowl I found myself eating the pesto with a spoon.  It is SO good.  Tastes like summer.
Then I behaved, and drizzled some over sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.
I poured a layer of olive oil over the rest and put into the fridge until tomorrow.  Maybe some basil chicken, maybe some sandwich spread, maybe freeze a few cubes.
Basil Pesto made with Toasted Pine Nuts
4 Cups Basil
1/3 Cup Toasted pine nuts
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic (could go to 3)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt to taste
Place the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat.  Make sure they are where you can keep an eye on them as they go from toasted to burned in no time at all.  Stir occasionally.  Usually when you get a wonderful fragrance of the toasted pine nuts, that is the time to pull them off the heat.
Then start stripping the basil leaves from the stems, and pack a full 4 cups.  Rinse and spin dry in a salad spinner.
Peel the garlic, but there is no need to mince.
Put basil, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic into the food processor and pulse several times, scraping down the sides occasionally.
If you want to freeze for later, just add the lemon juice now, pulse, and freeze, adding the cheeses when you use the basil.
Otherwise, add the grated cheeses and lemon juice (you may not want the juice of the entire lemon, but I liked how it tasted).  Pulse, then taste.  Add a few grinds of sea salt to taste.
If making the pesto to use the next day, pour 1/2 inch of olive oil over the top, and refrigerate.

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