Classic Basil Pesto and Several Variations
Yield: Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups
The pesto with which we are most familiar comes from the city of Genoa in Italy. It is based on basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and cheese. The term "pesto" is a derived from the Italian verb pesta: "to pound or to crush." From this incredibly simple and celebratory condiment has sprung an infinite number of variations. I have included a recipe for the original and a few of my favorite twists on the theme. Each of these incorporates a selection of fresh herbs and various complements. Enjoy!
If you choose to prepare this recipe in the most classic manner you will need a mortar and pestle. Working in small batches, add about half of the garlic to the mortar and crush it well with the pestle. Then add half of the pine nuts. Tear 1 cup of the basil into small pieces and add to the mixture. Add enough oil to crush everything into a paste and then fold in half of the cheese and salt. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Here is a much simpler (albeit not nearly so satisfying) method: Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Recipe by, PCC Cooks instructor
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show aired on July 14, 2007
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.