Pesto baby

This is a basic pesto recipe. I had some fresh pesto in the Cinque Terre a few years back. It rocked. In fact, I loved it so much I have been dreaming of the day I can go back for a visit, or in my dreams, to live.

Since that time, I have been making pesto in the spring and summer. Instead of just using it on pasta, although it is good for that, try it on grilled chicken and lamb chops. That’s right- lamb chops, or better yet, a full rack of frenched lamb ribs. It is delicious.

And while the recipe below is THE basic basil pesto recipe, pesto is only limited by your palate and taste imagination.


1/4c toasted pine nuts- I buy a huge Costco bag and stick it in the freezer to keep the oil from going rancid. Take a little out at a time and toast it. I put left over toasted pine nuts back in the freezer.
1-2 cloves garlic
a huge bunch of basil
olive oil
1/4c parmesan cheese- I prefer grated for this but shredded is okay
salt pepper

Stick all the ingredients except oil and cheese in the food processor. Whirl. Slowly add oil as the machine goes. Add enough oil that it is slightly runny. Stop machine. Add parmesan. Pulse. Don’t overheat the cheese. Pulse until incorporated. It should be thick but not paste like. More like not so thick pancake batter. If that makes sense.

Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Do this last because parmesan is usually salty. If you add salt beforehand, it might get too salty.

** good herbal substitutes: cilantro and parsley- also good on chops. Spinach & sub out pine nuts for toasted walnuts- good on chicken and as a spread for dipping. Some people like sundried tomatoes as a pesto. See how the combos are only limited by your imagination? It’s true.

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