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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Pesto

Wasting food is one of my biggest pet peeves, I am very intentional about only buying what I think we can eat and trying to use up every ingredients. So when I found myself with an abundance of basil that was on its last few days, I made the decision to whip up my first batch of homemade pesto. This took only a few minutes to make, all thanks to my food processor. Ryan and I were both impressed by how fresh this tasted, and I like having the option to make it more or less oily, more or less cheesy, etc. You won't find me buying jars of pesto anymore, that's for sure!

Pesto is great on or with so many things, and can even be frozen and thawed for later uses. We've enjoyed it with sweet potato gnocchi and tuna salad in the past, but opted for a different use this time. Come back tomorrow to see how we used our pesto...it was in one of my favorite dinners ever!

Homemade Pesto
*makes 1 cup

-2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I only used 1/3 cup to get it to the consistency we wanted)
-1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I used walnuts)
-3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
-salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Place the basil and pine nuts in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times.
2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is running. Stop the processor to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
3. Add the cheese and continue to pulse until blended.
4. Add salt & pepper to taste.