My basil is growing so fast with all this warm weather we've been having. What better way to enjoy my first batch of fresh basil than whipping up my first summer pesto. Pesto is one of those recipes that is ready in minutes, it just requires a bit of patience; first rinsing the basil free of soil and then carefully removing the basil leaves from the stems. Once your mise en place is set up, you can be enjoying pesto in a matter of minutes.
Perfect Pesto Recipe
Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | makes one cup
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1 head Caramelized Garlic or 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon pine nuts, chopped
1 ice cube
3 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoon olive oil
Place garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender. Puree gently. Add ice cube, basil and slightly grind. Do not over grind too long, or you will actually be cooking the tender leaves. Add the olive oil and cheese and process until it makes a paste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Use for more than pasta. Pesto is a great addition to salad dressing, topping bruschetta, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Great make-ahead dish for work-week dinner crunch. Simply make the pasta and toss in refrigerated pesto sauce, top with grated cheese.
- Use a mixture of leafy greens like spinach, parsley or cilantro in addition to the basil for a different pesto spin.