4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley sprigs (optional)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed, more or less
Place all ingredients in the food processor. Process to chop ingredients. Slowly add oil to create a paste. Use immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks. Freeze for longer keeping.
*Note: To keep the pesto brightly green looking, I blanch the basil in boiling water very briefly then shock in ice water. The addition of parsley will also give the pesto a beautiful green appearance, as well as a few drops of lemon juice. To use pesto as a sauce for pasta, thin out the pesto by adding the pasta cooking water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.