Pesto

It’s getting verrrry cool out, so I don’t think my outdoor plants will last much longer. My basil thrived this summer, but it’s time to strip all the leaves before the frost kills it. And of course an excess of basil leaves means… a double batch of pesto!

I started off with a large bowl of washed basil leaves… about 6 big handfuls.

Next – the nuts… or seeds. Pine nuts are the traditional choice, but most types will work. I made a batch this summer with walnuts, but this time I only had sunflower seeds in the house. I put 2 handfuls in a dry pan over medium heat.

Watch these carefully – they can burn really quickly! Toss them frequently and take them out of the pan as soon as they look and smell toasty.

Finely grate about 2 handfuls of Parmesan or a similar cheese.

Now for the assembly – put 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, into a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add the nuts or seeds, about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and a grind of  salt and pepper. Process again to give it a bit of a head start – the nuts/seeds don’t have to go smooth just yet.

Now start adding the basil leaves and cheese – if your food processor is little like mine, then you’ll probably need to do it in a couple batches. I stuffed it full, then processed, then repeated.

In between batches, I stirred the pesto to make sure everything was getting incorporated. If it gets too dry, just add another drizzle of olive oil.

Continue until all the ingredients have been fully incorporated. We’ve been making way too much pesto around here because of the basil explosion that happened on our balcony… so this batch is headed straight for the freezer.

I laid this flat while it froze – that way it’s really easy to break off frozen chunks whenever I feel like some pesto for my pasta this winter. Or maybe I’ll try some over burrata, like I had at Luma

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