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Basil Lovers Pesto

Dan Cutrona
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed, stems removed, dried well
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or mushed with the side of a large knife
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (fresh grated is best!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Put a few handfuls of the basil in with the pine nuts or walnuts and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
  2. Pour in the olive oil slowly, a few tablespoons at a time. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese  (unless you are going to freeze the pesto) and pulse again until blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Do this in batches—it’s a messy job, but worth it!
  3. To put in ice cup trays for freezing in small portions, spoon the pesto into a sandwich plastic baggy. Cut a corner out of the bag, and squeeze a good amount into each cube. Covering each cube with a little more olive oil helps keep the cubes green, (reducing oxidation) but the pesto will still taste like summer, even if it’s not that beautiful green!

Dan Cutrona

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