Pesto is one of my favorite condiments. It is a great replacement for a sauce on a pizza or pasta. Use it to top a nice piece of chicken or as a spread on a sandwich. Literally, your imagination is the limit.
I like working with versatile ingredients like pesto because you can improvise over and over and never get bored. This recipe is so simple you will be making every other day. The best recommendation I can give you for this is to have your own supply of basil because it can get quite expensive during the off season.
As always, start with the freshest ingredients you can get, remember, the better the quality of your ingredients, the better the taste. You can really notice the difference when you cook with high quality ingredients.
There are lots of versions of Pesto throughout the world, in Argentina for instance, it is called Chimichurri and it is made with parsley instead of basil, the German variety uses ransom leaves and in Singapore it is called Ikasa pesto just to mention a few
For this recipe I used my own basil leaves. The more you trim that baby they more it grows! I also used good quality pine nuts (I get mine at my local natural store), aged Parmesan cheese and Spanish olive oil that our friend Cristina smuggled from Madrid.
You can substitute basil for Arugula to give it a more peppery taste, or use mustard greens and use it to top a perfectly cooked piece of meat. Again, the possibilities are endless
- ½ cup Pine Nuts
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 3 cups Basil Leaves
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
- ½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Blend together basil, nuts, garlic, and cheese in a food processor
- With the food processor on pour in oil slowly
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse once more to combine