The Best Pesto

When I saw basil at Trader Joe’s, I grabbed two packages knowing I could make some pesto. I found this recipe on Food52, and agree, it is the best pesto recipe.

Here’s what you need:

10 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

1/4 cup raw pine nuts

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano, or grana padano, or other good parmesan-type cheese

3/4 teaspoon salt

5 cups loosely-packed basil leaves (about 4-6 ounces)

Here’s what you do:

1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.

2. Toast the pine nuts: In a small pan, combine 4 tablespoons olive oil and the pine nuts over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, until the pine nuts turn golden. Note that crossing over from raw to golden can happen quickly, so watch carefully. (The recipe I followed said this would take 3-5 minutes, but I found it took more like 7-10 minutes.) When toasted, pour the nuts and oil into the sieve and allow to cool.

3. Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the nuts and their oil, the remaining oil, the garlic, cheese and salt. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down as needed. Add the basil leaves, and pulse until pesto is smooth (scraping as needed). Store in an airtight container or freeze.


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