HOMEMADE BASIL PESTO
My family and I decided, instead of buying fresh herbs each time I prepare and cook a meal, to buy plants and cultivate our own small herbal garden. Among the many herbal plants we currently have, the basil grows the fastest. I asked my son one afternoon to harvest a bunch of basil leaves for me, first to make a pesto sauce for dipping our freshly baked slices of sourdough focaccia and second, as a sauce for a pasta dish we were having that night.
Once you try this recipe, you won't ever buy a bottled pesto sauce again.
½ cup pine nuts
2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesan Cheese)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup olive oil (your best)
Sea salt for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning (optional)
Using a food processor, pulse the nuts, fresh basil leaves and lemon juice a few times until leaves are finely minced.
Scrape the sides of the food processor. Add garlic and pulse the food processor again a few times. Scrape the sides again.
Run the food processor on low, add olive oil slowly in a steady stream thru the pour spout.
Scrape the sides of the food processor. Add the cheese and pulse briefly, or until cheese is well incorporated into the mixture.
Season with salt (and freshly ground black pepper- optional).
Use pesto to toss with pasta, or as a spread onto toasted slices of bread or crackers.