You may not believe this but Matarazzo Farms still has the most beautiful basil at the farmer’s market and it’s nearly the end of August! Nothing says summer like the heady smell of basil and now’s the time to capture it’s essence as a homemade pesto.
Making pesto has to be one of the easiest things in the world – the only thing is you have to clean all the basil – thoroughly! Just fill up your kitchen sink with cold water, chop the stem ends off the bunches, discard them and then dump the basil into the sink. Swish it around in the water to get all the grit out and then let it sit for a few minutes. All the dirt will fall to the bottom of the sink and you’ll be left with nice clean basil on top. I like to take the leaves off the stems but I do know some people who leave them on. Drain the basil really well in either a salad spinner or on paper towels. It should be completely dry before beginning the recipe.
2 cups basil leaves, packed – cleaned with stems removed
2-4 medium garlic cloves – peeled
1 cup olive oil or till the consistency is how you like it
1 1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan & Romano cheeses
salt & pepper to taste
Clean basil well and remove the stems. Make sure it is dry before you start.
Put the garlic, basil and nuts in the bowl of a food processor
Pulse the machine till the ingredients are finely minced.
Season the minced ingredients with the salt & pepper and lemon juice and then with the machine running slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube.
Stop, check the consistency and add the grated cheeses.
Pour enough oil into the mixture so that it runs smoothly. It’s best to stop and check the consistency once or twice as you add the oil. Some people like their pesto thick and some like it more liquidy and smooth. Also check to make sure you’ve added enough salt & pepper.
It’s just that simple … and won’t it be nice to have it tucked away in the freezer for one of those cold, blustery, snow covered nights when you need to remember Summer is not too far away?
Makes approximately 2-3 cups. Serve as a pasta sauce, pizza topping, sandwich spread or any other way you want.
This recipe freezes really well so make lots! If you want less fat, substitute lemon juice for some of the olive oil.