Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm not sure when I first tasted pesto, but it wasn't all that long ago. Maybe 10 years? Oh, how many years (decades) wasted without knowing the joy of pesto! What a tragedy.
But, I'm not talking about that stuff they sell in a jar at the grocery store. It's way too oily, sour, and hugely overpriced. No, I'm talking about the pesto you can make in your own kitchen for just a fraction of the cost.

Here's a basic recipe, and then I'll let you know how you can adjust it to accommodate what you have in your pantry:

Basic Homemade Pesto
2 cups basil leaves, gently packed
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup salt

Place basil, walnuts, and garlic in bowl of food processor. Pulse into finely chopped. Add oil, cheese, and salt and process until a smooth paste, stopping several times to scrape down sides of bowl.

NOTE: You can use spinach or arugula leaves in place of 1 cup of the basil. Almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts can be used in place of the walnuts. Romano, smoked gouda, or mizithra cheese can be used in place of 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

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