Basic Basil Pesto (09.30.11)

Posted at 11:51 AM, Sep 30, 2011
and last updated 2012-02-27 00:28:23-05

Yield:  Makes about 1 cup

4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Place the basil and garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process until finely chopped.  With the machine running, add half the oil in a slow steady stream.  Add the Parmesan cheese and process until the cheese is well blended.  With the machine running, slowly add the remaining oil and process until creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the pine nuts and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped.  Use immediately, or pour into a container and top with a thin layer of olive oil, if desired, to prevent the basil from turning dark.  Tightly seal land refrigerate for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a few months.