We have a sudden bounty of basil, so it’s Pesto Day! This Basil Pesto Recipe is a combination of my old standby – with a tweak, courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. Their recipe calls for toasting the garlic cloves in their peels in the same pan with the pine nuts – I’m all about less fuss. Presumably the pan-roasted garlic has a milder flavor. I like that but felt it needed a teeny bit more fresh garlic flavor so ended up adding a raw clove – totally optional.
We also add lemon juice for a little zip. Process everything until it is nice and smooth. We use it on pasta, as a base for veggie pizza and on our favorite toasted mozzarella panini.
If you made a lot of pesto, like we did today, you can freeze it in small baggies for up to two months. Enjoy!
Oh, a side note about Cook’s Illustrated: Our kids give us a gift subscription every year. We love the detailed recipes that always work.
- 2 packed cups of basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic - unpeeled
- 1 clove garlic peeled (optional)
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
- 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- Toast unpeeled garlic and pine nuts over medium heat until nuts are light brown. Remove from heal and cool
- Peel cooled garlic and put into food processor with all ingredients: basil, peeled raw garlic clove, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, parmesan and lemon juice.
- Process until smooth, scraping down occasionally.
- Use immediately or store refrigerated for up to a week. This can also be frozen for up to two months.