Classic Pesto

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Normally I’m a planner. I have calendars and lists and notebooks, all organized by topic and order of importance. That’s not to say I’m always on top of stuff or that I don’t procrastinate, lol…but even if I’m not on top of something, I usually know what it is that I’m procrastinating.

That carries over into blogging because I like to plan out my posts a bit in advance…and this pesto was not on the agenda.

My mom called me last weekend saying that we were about to get out first frost so she was harvesting herbs – did I want any? (No need for that question – it’s like asking a kid if they want summer vacation!) I happily took the herbs and decided to make a classic pesto with the lovely basil, and I wanted to share the recipe ASAP in case anyone else finds themselves in the same boat  trying to use a bunch of basil!
Basil keeps well frozen so I’m planning to enjoy it in colder months ahead. Here are a few ideas on how to use it:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Sandwich condiment
  • Sauce for chicken or fish
  • Spread for crackers or crostini
  • Mixed with Greek yogurt or sour cream as a dip
  • Soup topping
  • Salad dressing

Classic Pesto

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

3 large cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

4 cups (about 4 oz) loosely packed basil leaves (no stems), rinsed and patted dry

4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet and cooled

1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I like to finely grate mine on a microplane)

Add the garlic and salt to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the basil and pine nuts and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped, then stream in the oil with the motor running, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.

If using immediately, transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

If freezing, wait to add the cheese until after thawing.

NOTE: I find that once pesto is thawed, it is best used the same day.

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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