I love pesto. I will literally spread it on anything. And once you've made it yourself, you will never buy the pre-made stuff again. They're just not even the same thing. It freezes well too, so if you have lots of basil just make as much as you can and freeze what's left.

1 package basil leaves
1/4 cup of pine nuts (you can also use pecans or walnuts because pine nuts are a little pricey)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesean, freshly grated
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

I use one of those mini choppers (its $30 at Target and totally worth it) because I'm too poor for a food processor. Put the parmesan cheese in first and grind until crumbly, then add basil, pine nuts, garlic and half of the oil. Mix well, then slowly add the rest of the olive oil until it forms a paste. Add salt to taste. You can also use a mortar and pestle (which I decided to try once, but its not that great and it takes forever. If you do want to give it a shot, grind everything together except the cheese and the oil, then process it all in the mini chopper/food processor.

Store in an airtight container with saran wrap pressed inside the tupperware to keep pesto from turning brown (if it does, it doesn't change the flavor, its just kind of gross looking). You can also cover it with a thin layer of olive oil, but this may thin your pesto out too much. It should keep for about a week or 3 months frozen.

Some of my favorite non-pasta uses of pesto:
-Spread on a turkey sandwich with some swiss cheese, broil for a few minutes for a quick, yummy lunch
-Spread on pizza in place of tomato sauce with some mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, artichokes, onions, spinach and feta. Or just with plain with cheese.
-Mix with some mayonaisse (I hate mayo, but I love this stuff) and put it on a sandwich or hamburger (I got this idea from a restaurant in Los Gatos. They had it on toasted sourdough bread with mushrooms, swiss, bacon, lettuce and grilled onions...amazing!)
-Use for bruschetta with fresh mozarella, ribbons of basil, sauteed mushrooms and a few pine nuts
-Straight out of the fridge on your finger ;)



*~Krysten~* said...

I cannot believe I've never made pesto. It's so easy and I know that, I think I just have never had all the ingredients at the same time!

Sarah said...

let me know how it goes! its sooo addictive....