Fresh basil and garlic make a summer pesto

One of the joys of summer is making fresh pesto to use on noodles, mixed into rice, or with garden vegetables, particularly tomatoes, greens beans and zucchini. Pesto is a mixture of the flavors of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan or Romano cheeses, and pine nuts.

Some chefs alter the recipe slightly, adding a few leaves of spinach to the basil, or a few sprigs of parsley. Some use a combination of walnuts and pine nuts. Some add butter to the oil. After a few tries, you will find the proportion of the ingredients that is most pleasing to you.

The name pesto comes from pestle, because it was originally made in a mortar and pestle. Many people make it in a blender or food processor, although purists will scorn this method.

Pesto can be frozen if the chees is omitted and added just before serving. It is convenient to freeze pesto in ice cube trays, and then slip the cubes into a plastic bag. Pesto 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup olive oil 3 ounces pine nuts 3 1/2 ounces Parmesan or Romano pecorino cheese

Coarsely chop basil, garlic, and salt together and put mixture in a blender.Add half the olive oil, and blend briefly at low speed until herbs are minced. Add cheese, and blend at medium speech until everything it well amalgamated but not pureed. Stop blending a couple of times, and scrape the sides of blender.

Scrape mixture into a small bowl. Beat in by hand as much of the remaining oil as needed to make a thick sauce. For 6 to 8 servings.

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