Summer is all about easy, fresh food that makes you feel content on a warm night. Summer is also about fresh basil – I grew my own plant this year, and it’s huge! A few nights ago, I decided to finally learn how to use the beautiful food processor I got for Christmas, and wow. I made pesto, and Tim said it was the best pesto he’s ever had in his whole life. More than a testament to my cooking, I think his compliment goes beyond that to be a testament to eating seasonally. Pesto is so easy, and it’s so much better to make it than to scrape it out of a jar.
I used our pesto as a pasta sauce, but it’s also wonderful swirled into soup, smeared on crusty bread, on melted on fish, spread on pizza – basically whenever you need a burst of fresh flavor.
Here’s another tip: you can make a big batch of pesto (or any kind of sauce), and freeze it in an ice cube tray. When you need a quick meal or dinner for one, just pop out a sauce cube and let it melt into a warm pan. Yum!
makes about 1 cup
2 cups rinsed basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
Pulse basil, nuts, garlic, and Parmesan in food processor. Add olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached. If you’re adding the pesto to pasta, do it while the pasta is nice and hot. The cheese will melt and make a tasty sauce!