Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Mortar for this Pesto

Cruising through the organic stands at the Sarasota Florida Farmers Market I found the most beautiful bags of Basil! No flower buds at all, which mean the basil was harvested at its flavor most peak AND amazingly, the roots were still attached.  While raving about their beauty the stand operator told me they had just been pulled early that morning!  Who could resist; certainly not me!

I inhaled deeply the aroma emanating from my coveted bag of fresh organic basil and immediately thought of Pesto; Pesto alla Genovese which my Italian husband will gladly tell anyone who will listen; is the only true Pesto!  Now I have a mortar and pestle which I use often to make enough Pesto for one family dinner but I decided to go the easy route since my basil bag was huge and I really didn't like the idea of spending the afternoon making one single batch after another.

So out came the food processor and off I went full speed ahead into pesto land. 
Toss all of your cleaned basil leaves into the food processor; I had about 4 -5 cups.  Peel 6 good sized cloves of garlic and add to the basil leaves along with 8 ounces of parmesan cut into chunks.  Pulse this mixture about 10 times and then add ½ cup of pine nuts and pulse again another 10 times. 

Now pour in a steady stream extra virgin olive oil into the processor running on the slowest speed.  Add about ½ cup and check the consistency and taste to see if it needs salt..probably not because of the saltiness of the parmesan.

Your goal here is to make a paste so process until the ingredients are no longer chunky and you have a paste.

Divide the pesto into small Tupperware containers and cover it olive oil and then top with the lid.  This will keep in the fridge if covered with olive oil for about 5-7 days. Pesto freezes amazingly well so go ahead and make it now so you have it available whenever!

Couldn’t resist a little pizza with pesto, brie and prosciutto later that evening….yum!

Next up I’ll be making a very special Lasagna featuring the pesto I have just shown you how to make!


  1. OMG, THIS looks amazing, Kc...I'm w/you on the food processor! I could do some damage to that pizza right now!

  2. Love how fresh the basil was you found. I love having some in my garden, so in the summer I can make it. I love the food processor, I won't do it any other way now. Hope you are having a great week. Your strawberry tart looks fab.

  3. Pesto is SO easy! I've used shredded Parm cheese and walnuts (pine nuts are expensive!), then freeze them in an ice cube tray. When frozen, just put them in a Ziploc freezer bag. Use for individual servings, or plop in your favorite soup, such as tomato or Minestrone. Great post!

  4. I am a huge fan of pesto and definitely use my Cuisinart. The one time I tried making it the traditional way I loved my Cuisinart even more!

  5. That pizza looks great. Love Pesto!!! Can I have Kc in "my" kitchen?