We’re eating our way through all the yummy produce from the weekend, and tonight’s feast was basil pesto. The basil and tomatoes were fresh from the market. Pesto not only tastes wonderful, but it is extremely versatile. You can add it to pasta, soup, meats, or keep it vegetarian. If you happen upon a large quantity of basil, you can make extra batches and freeze it by making the pesto as directed, but leave out the cheese and oil. Then fill some ice cube trays or ziploc bags with the pesto, and when you’re ready to use the pesto during the dregs of winter when you can’t find fresh basil, simply defrost the pesto, put in the food processor add the cheese and oil. Viola, just like fresh summer basil pesto!
This is a classic version that’s super tasty and a staple on our dinner table.
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 6 oz pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts, pine nuts, pecans or almonds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 pound pasta of your choice
- 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- grilled chicken
Important notes — add pasta water to thin if necessary, don’t add salt until after cheese is incorporated because cheese can be very salty
- Cook pasta according to directions
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken and grill, then cut into bite-sized pieces
- Place basil, cheese, nuts, and garlic in a food processor; process until well blended. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute, process until well blended. Add pasta water, if desired to thin pesto.
- Combine pasta, tomatoes, chicken, and pesto; toss to combine.