I know that is a total cop out, making a ton of pesto. But you really need a good amount of basil to make a good amount of pesto so why not make it easy on yourself and use if for one thing. I found this recipe in a great cookbook, Italian Country Cooking by Loukie Werle and it doesn’t require any pine nuts. That helps the wallet a little. I found it very tasty and you can always add some pine nuts or walnuts to give it that buttery nut flavor. I made this on Father’s Day and made an appetizer using the fresh pesto and a nice Chiabatta loaf. Pesto can also be a nice addition to pasta, steak, tomato salad, or grilled chicken. I often freeze my pesto and it will last for months. Just freeze it in small batches and defrost in the fridge. You can enjoy your home grown basil pesto all year long.
- approx 1-1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 Tbsp freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or use extra Parmesan)
To make the pesto, rinse the basic leaves and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. Combine the basil and garlic in a processor with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Pulse until you have slightly chunky sauce, but not smooth, adding the remaining oil while processing. Stop once or twice to scape the bail off the sides. Spoon into a bowl, stir in the cheeses and season with salt. Float a slick of oil on top, until ready to use.
Easy appetizer or late night snack
Heat broiler. Slice a french baguette or Italian loaf in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil, place on baking sheet, and toast under broiler for approx. 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread so it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and spread a thin layer (or a lot if you like)of Ricotta cheese over the surface of the bread. Then spread a thin layer of pesto over that. Slice and serve.