Updated 08/21/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Homemade Basil Pesto
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makes 2-3 cups
4 firmly packed cups fresh basil leaves (see hints below)
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (see hints below)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
You'll need to rinse the basil in a large bowl of cold water to remove any sand or grit from the leaves. Then drain it really well.
You can change the water and rinse the basil more than once if it needs it and then, once it has drained really well, remove the leaves from the stems making sure that you're not adding any of the flowering buds to the pesto as well.
Add about half of the leaves to the food processor and then add two medium, peeled cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and puree that to break it down a bit.
At that point, add the rest of the basil leaves and 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and continue to puree it until it is nice and smooth.
If it seems a little bit on the thick side add another splash of olive oil and puree it until you're happy with the consistency and then store it in a lidded, airtight container in the fridge, with a layer of olive oil on top to help keep it from oxidizing.
This recipe is very easy to halve, starting with 2 cups of basil instead of 4.
Add a little less olive oil to start. You can always add more as needed.
Try freezing some by adding it to ice cube trays. Freeze with plastic wrap over the top and then store it in cubes in freezer bags using one or two at a time as needed.