I love pesto — all kinds of pesto. I mean, what’s a better than grabbing a few sprigs of basil from your garden? The mere thought of pesto sends this cook’s mind spinning with possibilities. Pesto should be able to complement whatever you’re making, but should also be able to stand on its own. That way, when it needs to be the star of your dish, it is, and when it plays a supporting role, it really boosts the flavor profile.
I’ve taken the idea of a traditional pesto recipe and given it a little more panache. It starts with the great foundation of pesto – basil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts – and builds upon that foundation. Feel free to add to it, or take away some of it. This pesto is absolutely divine and is great on: sandwiches, crostini, brisket, steak, chicken, a cheese plate, a spoon by itself while hiding in the kitchen… the list goes on.
Here is my easy-to-make recipe:
Two by Two Pesto
- 2 handfuls of fresh basil – fresh from the garden is the best! Yum.
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, today we used SarVecchio
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (10-15 cloves) roasted garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less)
- salt & pepper to taste
In a food processor, combine all ingredients, except oil, salt & pepper. Pulse once or twice to get everything started.
Then, drizzle in a little bit of the olive oil. Everything should begin to pull away from the sides – much like when you’re making bread. With the processor running, drizzle in the remainder of the olive oil, just until creamy.
After you’ve added all the main ingredients, taste first with a spoon, then with a small piece of bread torn from a baguette, (it tastes better that way). Then add in your salt and pepper, pulse twice.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but up to 4 hours. This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto-goodness.
You might want to make a second batch just for yourself, as this certainly disappeared quickly in the Plum Deluxe kitchen!