This time I used the recipe in RECIPES FROM AMERICA’S SMALL FARMS, originally from Wood Creek Herb Farm. But its pretty much the same as the one in JOY OF COOKING. I love to make pesto – with the kids, again they like the food processor - whenever the basil is about to bolt. Then we freeze what we don’t eat right away, either in a clean yogurt container, or, even better, freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and then dump the pesto cubes into a Ziploc bag. When you want to use it, just take a cube or two out when you start boiling water for pasta and mix it in with the hot cooked pasta, which will melt it. Then you have yummy and inspiringly green pasta all winter. You can also substitute arugula and/or spinach for all or part of the basil. Pine nuts are traditional, but walnuts are local here (whereas at our TJ's pine nuts come from "China, Russia or Korea".
1/3 cup walnuts (I toast these a bit first)
2 – 4 garlic cloves (to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup (or more to taste) grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry (be careful to snip the leaves off at the stem – if you break the leaves themselves, they begin to blacken and your pesto won’t be as pretty)
¾ cup olive oil
Place the first four ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and chopped. Add the cheese and do the same. Add the basil and do the same. Then, with the processor running, drizzle in the oil until the desired consistency is reached (you may not need all of it). Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze. NOTE: Every recipe I’ve ever seen says that if you plan to freeze, you should not add the cheese until you are about to use it. However, I always add the cheese and freeze it and use it later with no problem. I’m not sure what the problem would be – please enlighten me if anyone knows!