Nothing says summer like Pesto...

Basil Pesto
This morning I took a moment to cut enough basil from our two little plants to make a jar of pesto for the freezer. I love being able to pull out fresh pesto in the middle of fall or winter when our basil plants are hibernating!
This is my favorite Pesto recipe so far and it's pretty easy to throw together. It freezes well, even in a glass jar if you leave enough head space at the top. Before it went in the freezer though, I saved out a couple of tablespoons to go on some hot whole grain pasta for lunch.. YUM!

(*You will need a food processor for this recipe, if all you have is a small one-cup chopper, make the recipe in two batches.)

2-3 cloves of garlic
2 oz. of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (You can substitute the pre-shredded, but please do not use the stuff in the green can.)
1/4 cup of pine nuts (We actually use almonds, because we always have them on hand and they are a bit more economical.)
2 cups of Packed Basil Leaves, washed and dried
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of freshly ground pepper

Turn your food processor on and drop the cloves of the garlic through the top opening. (This will result in a good mince.) Then add the nuts and the cheese and blend briefly until the nuts are ground up. Add the basil and pulse again. Add the oil in a slow steady stream through the top opening. Stop half way through the oil. This will result in a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add however much oil you need to reach your desired consistency up until you have added it all.

Add the salt and pepper and then taste for flavor. If the pesto tastes flat, try adding more parmesan or a pinch more salt.

Use the pesto right away or store it well covered. If you are storing it in the fridge for a few days, pour a small amount of olive oil on top to slow the discoloration.

**This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma book of Sauces

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