Invariably, my basil plants will grow faster than I pull leaves for pizza and salads, so eventually its time to make a big batch of pesto. I always start with the Pesto recipe from the Betty Crockers New Cookbook (8th Edition) and then make a few mods. Here's my modified version
- 2 Cups washed and dried basil leaves (packed down)
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 Cup pine nuts
- 1/2 fresh Parmesan or similar cheese
- ~3/4 cup olive oil
(I've switched to using the Grana Padano cheese sold a Costco for this in place of Parmesan. I think it has a similar taste, and with either the basil is the strongest taste here, the cheese is a second stringer and therefore the savings in cost is worth the substitution)
To make the Pesto, simply put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is well mixed together and minced to tiny bits. Then add half of the oil and start blending. Add additional oil until you like the consistency. I like to leave mine a bit on the lumpier side if I'm going to freeze it for future use. I can add oil later, but removing oil is harder.
Speaking of freezing, I got these Ball Silicon Ice Cube Trays and they work great. A cube of pesto is good for about two people's worth of pasta.