Pesto

July 11, 2007

basil-wide.jpg

Basil originated in India, where the type called ‘Thulasi’ is still considered holy. In ancient Greece, it was the royal herb, fit only for kings. Legend has it that basil wards off snakes and scorpions, keeps lovers faithful, and opens the gates of heaven to the dearly departed. One bite of this basil pesto and you’ll be a believer. SAM

2 ounces pine nuts
2 ounces fresh sweet basil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small dry skillet over very low heat, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned, shaking frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a counter top to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic, Parmesan, and oil. Pulse with an immersion blender until smooth.
Makes 1 cup.

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COOKING TIP: Pesto Variations

July 11, 2007

You can make pesto with any kind of basil, although lighter basils like lemon lack the licorice bite of sweet basil. This recipe also works perfectly with cilantro and parsley, both of which make great pestos. Cilantro pesto is especially good with potato gnocchi. Hmmmmm … another recipe in the works?