Pesto! We LOVE pesto!! And basil is now ready for picking, at least here in the PNW. Sadly, our own little basil crop is pretty measly. I planted 11 plants in May and only two are still alive. And they're just as small as they were when they were planted. They're in a sunny spot with all the other herbs (which are flourishing). So, I'm buying a bit each week from the local Farmers' Market.
Our pesto recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, San Francisco Encore. This cookbook, and its companion, San Francisco A La Carte, are owned by nearly everyone in our family. Every recipe has been a true winner. This one for pesto is no exception.
2 C fresh basil leaves (or 3 T dried)
½ C olive oil
2 TB pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 TB butter, softened
In a food processor or blender, combine the first 5 ingredients. Transfer to a bowl. Beat in the cheese by hand, incorporating evenly. Beat in the butter.
To freeze the pesto, they recommend doing freezing it without the butter and Parmesan, and adding those in just before using it. However, I will admit that I have frozen this pesto without these ingredients, and with the butter and Parmesan. I haven't noticed much difference, so I just freeze the whole recipe!