How To Make Pesto

The word "pesto" translates to "to pound or crush" which is the way Pesto was made in the past.
Pesto is very easy to make.

The basic recipe for Pesto is:
 3 cups packed fresh basil
 1/4 cup pine nuts
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese  (you can use another cheese like Romano if you wish)
 1 - 2 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
 salt and pepper to taste

Chop garlic, cheese, and nuts. You can omit this step, but chopping before they are put into the food processor makes a smoother pesto.

Put the chopped ingredients and basil into a food processor. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil in the food spout gradually as the food is being processed.

That's it! If you do not have a food processor, you can use a blender but your Pesto will not be as smooth as when you use a food processor.

Substitutions and Additions and other things to try:
  • You can substitute other nuts for the pine nuts. Try walnuts, cashews or almonds.
  • If you roast your garlic cloves before making your Pesto, you will have a milder, sweeter flavor. Heat oven to 350ยบ. Cut the top off the garlic clove and set it on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bulb and place an aluminum foil tent over the top. Roast it for about 45 minutes.
  • Pesto can be frozen for several months.
  • Try serving Pesto on crackers.
  • Want your Pesto to be a brighter green? Add fresh parsley with the basil.
  • Omit the nuts and you have a whole new recipe . Pistou is made without the nuts. I prefer the taste of Pistou to Pesto.
  • Add a little Pesto (or Pistou) to your potato salad or your egg salad. Yummy!
  • Blend a little into mayonnaise for a great sandwhich spread.
  • Mix a little into your mashed potatoes.

If you haven't made your own Pesto or Pistou yet, what are you waiting for? It can be used to spice up almost any meal.

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