July 3, 2010
Having an Independence Day party? Want to try a new recipe? One of my favorite summer recipes is basil pesto. Well, truth be told, it just a favorite recipe any time of year. This creamy sauce goes well on salads, poultry, pasta, caprese salad, veggies - just about anything as far as I am concerned! Here's the recipe for you to enjoy!!
First, you need a food processor. I have tried with a mortar and pestle, and it is very laborious and your results are not as good. Ingredients and directions: a good amount of fresh, fragrant basil anywhere from 2 to 3 cups - from your own garden or farmers market I have found is best. But store bought is okay too. Remove the stems - you only want the basil leaves. Place in the processor. Then add cut up parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan) cheese and cut up romano-peccorino cheese. I usually purchase a wedge of each and cut them up to add in the processor. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of pine nuts. Cut up one or two cloves of garlic and add to food processor. (Cutting up the cheese and garlic makes it blend nicer than just putting in one large hunk of each). Add a pinch of sea salt and extra virgin olive oil to get desired consistency - more oil means more liquidy, less chunky. You can also add less cheese and pine nuts to make it more liquid-like. Blend in the processor. After blending, taste and decide if it needs anything else. You can always add more of each ingredient to get it to the desired taste.
To serve this luscious treat, you can cut up a nice home-made bread and serve with cold cuts, cheese, and olives as a primo piatto (first course). Or make a bruschetta with tomatoes and fresh mozarella. You can toss in a pasta or serve on a poultry dish. The sauce goes really well with a nice crisp, chilled chardonnay (my favorite is Kendall Jackson - great quality for a good price) or a sweet Riesling or sauvignon blanc. Enjoy and watch all of your guests do the same!