Not too much prep for this simple but flavorful recipe. Start by peeling and chopping the garlic.
Wash, dry and remove the stems from the fresh basil.
Mortor and Pestle
The traditional way of making pesto is with a mortar and pestle. Start by adding basil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts to the mortar and grinding them to a paste.
Pound in the cheese.
Finally whisk in the oil until you have the desired consistency.
Add the garlic to the food processor and mince.
Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, and a dash of salt and pepper to the bowl of the processor. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil through the feed tube until all the ingredients are pureed.You may need to stop the processor at this point and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get every mixed together.
Add Parmesan cheese and mix it into the rest of the mixture. If the pesto is too thick, add a tablespoon of water.
Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. This should keep for 2 - 3 days in the fridge but freezes well if you want to keep it longer.
As much as I enjoy trying traditional methods, I usually don't have the time or energy to bruise basil leaves so I reach for my food processor and puree a batch in a matter of minutes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender.