| Pesto (a word stemming from the Italian word for "pounded") is that bright green paste-like stuff that tastes great on pretty much everything. It's up there with bacon and Heinz Ketchup, in terms of a perfect flavor. It's a very traditional sauce originating in Northern Italy. It's basically a mixture of basil, pine nuts and cheese, but the combination is OH so much more than the sum of its parts!|
This particular recipe makes about a cup's worth of bright, vibrant, garlicky goodness. It's not uncommon for me to throw a few chili flakes in there ... I like that little bit of zap!
I'm counting each serving as two tablespoons (for a total of 8 servings). I tend to make this in large batches, then divide it into little mason jars topped with a layer of extra virgin olive oil. I refrigerate one and freeze the others. I add pesto to A LOT of things, from spreads on sandwiches, to using as a dip, to a pesto cream sauce, or as layers within a green lasagna. Try carefully rubbing it under the skin of a whole chicken, then roasting it. YUM!!!
This sauce is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, but this recipe is for a food processor ('cause it's what I have). To do it the old-school way ... start with the salt and garlic in a mortar and move the pestle around in a circular fashion. After a paste has been formed, add the basil and lemon juice. Pound. Then, add the oil, and continue pounding. Finally, add the cheese and toasted pine nuts! Pound to consistency and adjust seasoning.
It's really one of those perfect foods ...