During the summer, fresh basil is at its peak. When the leaves are that perfect shade of green and the smell is so vibrant you can smell it as you pluck them, you know it’s time to make use of them. Here at Mortadella, we love basil in a variety of ways: in dressings, caprese salads, in sauces, on top of the pizza. The list goes on. We beg of you to never buy store-bought pesto. Fresh is simply the best, and you’ll taste the difference in every bite. Despite the wonderful aroma and delicious taste, making it is no chore. In fact, it just takes a few, simple ingredients to whip up a batch so good you’ll want to put it on everything.
One of the best things about making pesto is that you can cater it to your own taste buds. This is a solid recipe for you to use, but feel free to adjust it to your liking. More cheese? Go for it. Walnuts instead of pine nuts? Sure! There are so many pesto variations we could write a whole blog post on just that. Hmm, maybe we will. For now, give this one a whirl and let us know how it goes.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.
- Add cheese and garlic and pulse a few more times. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the lid off the food processor, turn it back on and slowly add the olive oil. Continue blending, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now that you’ve got pesto down, how are you gonna use it? Here are a few quick ideas:
- Toss with pasta for a quick sauce, adding more fresh basil of course!
- Drizzle over your favorite eggs for a savory breakfast
- Spread over toasted slices of bread for a quick snack
- Top roasted veggies instead of using butter
- Make an Italian BLT: bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto is one tasty combo
Got more ideas? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!