Pesto!!

2 Aug

Pesto is one of my favorite things about basil. It’s garlicky, it’s salty, it’s creamy, and it keeps so well in the freezer. And there are so many uses! On pizza, in soups, in a tomato & mozzarella salad, on a grilled veggie sandwich, and simply on some good pasta.  I always try to ration my frozen cubes of pesto to last through the winter but I always find myself eating lots of pesto spaghetti squash in the fall.

Pesto is also a major PITA for me to make. Mostly because I’m too cheap to buy a food processor (a mixer comes first, creaming butter and sugar is absolutely necessary for the perfect cookie). My blender is trusty but the sporadically spaced ribbed insides makes scraping thick condiments (tzaziki, humus) a chore. Alas, the pay off is supreme.

Pesto is hard to mess up. It’s basically everything you see above. Portions are to your taste.

3 large garlic cloves
3 cups grated Romano
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup olive oil
4 cups packed fresh basil

I omit salt to compensate for how much I love grated hard cheeses. And there’s a little extra olive oil to help the blender along. Super simple: chop the pine nuts and the garlic (in the blender!!), add half the olive oil, half the basil, and half the Romano. Blender-ize it till it looks and tastes like pesto. Repeat with the remaining basil, olive oil, and Romano. I scooped almost the entire batch into one ice cube tray to freeze so I can have portioned cubes for autumn’s squash feast.

For lunch, I scraped down the sides of the blender with my trusty mini spatula, cut three tomatoes, half a log of mozzarella, and mixed it all together. A pinch of salt here, a couple cigarillos of basil, and voila! Lunch for two!

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