Monday, May 7, 2012

Basil Pesto

Since it's been so long since my last post, I thought I would jump back in easy.  Living in Naples is good in many ways, but the one that tops my list is the weather.  For people who cook, it means we have access to fresh produce for quite a long time.  My basil grows like a weed and I recently made pesto to use for a dinner party.  If I was still back in Boston, I would have to wait for another two months before my basil plant was large enough for this recipe.  

Yes, I know I could buy it, but there is nothing like grabbing the shears and getting it from outside your door.  The aroma of basil brings you to heaven and back.  Well maybe that's only my take on this beautiful green Italian herb, but it's how I feel.

The recipe I have always used came from Giada.  It's simple, easy and delicious!

2 Cups packed basil leaves
1/4 Cup toasted pine nuts
1 or 2 Garlic cloves
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic and the salt and pepper until finely chopped.  

While the food processor is still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency.  I sometimes add additional salt, pepper and oil depending on the taste.  Transfer to a bowl and add the cheese.  Again, I usually add a little more. (don't tell my doctor)

The night of my dinner party I used the pesto in my eggplant rollatini and then added the extra into my sauce.  There are so many ways to use pesto.  It tastes great with pasta, bruschetta or simply added to grilled chicken or beef when it comes off the grill.  In the past I drizzled it over sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.  Just thinking about that makes me want to make it again...

So, for anyone out there who thinks homemade pesto is difficult, think again.  Give it a try!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone and have a fabulous week.  I know I will.  My Mom and Auntie will be here with me for Mother's Day.  How happy am I?

Fino a quel momento


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