pass the pesto

pass the pesto

Basil, baby!


The smell of fresh basil makes me happy. So I especially love to hang out at the farmers’ market this time of year. As I stroll from table to table, the intoxicating scent of the herb wafts through the air. I can’t really describe it. I inhale it deeply. And then I buy a big bunch and take it home and make pesto. Pesto has so many possibilities.

Here is Ina Garten’s homemade pesto recipe, with fresh spinach added to the mix. It’s some nutty, garlicky, green goodness.

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 cloves; I start with 3 or 4 and add to taste as I go along)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (I use 3, along with 2 cups of fresh spinach)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place the walnuts, pine nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30 seconds. Add basil leaves, spinach, salt and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and
process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Now, what to do with 4 cups of pesto? We started with pizza…stay tuned.

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