Monday, January 16, 2012

Pesto Sauce

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Pesto Sauce is not something I make regularly not because of its taste but rather because of its cost and the availability of its primary component, the basil leaves. When I was living in Atlanta, a bunch of basil costs 99c but here in Bozeman, they average $2.99. Hence, unless absolutely, positively necessary, I try to forgo making pesto sauce. However, the pork dish I am preparing for friends coming over this weekend requires a pairing with pasta dressed in pesto sauce so I have no choice but to make it.

I have two standby recipes from two of my favorite television chefs: Ina Garten and Dave Lieberman. This recipe is more Ina Garten but is combined with Dave Lieberman's so either way, there is no point to decide on which recipe to choose. I have made both and they are equally good but I have been making the combo recipe for the last few times I made pesto. Just remember, do not skimp on the olive oil. You need it to ensure that your pesto stays a vivid green.

Pesto Sauce

5 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup walnuts
9 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup olive oil

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and nuts with the lemon 
    juice and 1/2 cup olive oil. Blitz until you form a coarse paste. 

2. Add the basil leaves and continue to process by adding the remaining olive 
    oil. Do not overprocess. 

3. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in a glass 
   jar and drizzle a good amount of extra virgin olive oil to protect the pesto 
   from turning grayish green.

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