it's hard to make pesto photogenic:even when you turn the spoon the other way:
i made this pesto several weeks ago, and then never said anything about it because i am a lazy bum. in fact, i am so lazy i refuse to capitalize.
i'm such a rebel.
the point is, i made an incredible amout of pesto, because we have an incredible number of basil plants, and you know, in winter, when there is no basil or pesto to be found for cheap, pesto is all you want to eat. so i made pesto to freeze. i made about a bushel of basil into about three jars of basil, which was oddly anti-climactic and depressing.
i hope you've had a nice labor day weekend.
in fact, it was about as perfect as labor day weekends can get, because on saturday i bought approximately 15 hats of no particular vintage or anything, but this lovely lady in my neighborhood was having a hat sale. so of course i showed up. and spent a lot of money on hats.
i love hats.
they are making my life very good right now.
the thing is, pesto also makes life very good. esp. when that pesto is on pasta.
pesto and pasta are a wicked combination. esp. when there are tomatos involved.
(i always think that tomatos shouls have an "E" so it would be tomaTOES. i think that would be cute. but then, i didn't create the english language, now did i. thanks, dead people who decided that tomatos were tomatos instead of tomaTOES.)
Notes on the recipe: Deborah (is it weird that i whenever i think of cookbook authors, i use their first names?
i mean seriously, pick any great writer in the english canon, and we refer to by their last name: Twain, Steinbeck, Dickinson, Shakespeare. But I just can't think of Julia Child or Alice Waters or Dorie Greenspan or David Lebovitz by their last names, they're not Child or Waters or Greenspan or Lebovitz. They're Julia and Alice and Dorie and David. Except for Mark Bittman. He's always just Bittman.)
NOTES ON THE RECIPE: I don't use pine nuts. For one, they're expensive, and for two, they're expensive. The flavor is gorgeous, but they're expensive, and when you're making vats of pesto to feed the raging hordes, it's far cheaper, and not neccesarily less flavorful, to just use pecans or walnuts. I used walnuts. Also, Deborah suggests an extra 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated pecorino-romano, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Which seemed silly and extraneous and fatty. So I didn't do it. Also, she suggests making pesto by hand. Which is lovely. But much faster with a gizmo like the food processor. I'm going to leave it to you, to figure out how to do it by hand. I'm sure it tastes better and is more magical in your mouth by hand, but I didn't want to spend all day, wearing out my poor wrists grinding nuts and leaves together to create a savory green paste. That's what the internet was invented for. That's what the food processor was invented for.
adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 or 2 plump garlic cloves
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts or pecans
3 cups loosely packed basil leaes, stems removed, leaves washed and dried
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
In the Food Processor: Process the garlic, salt, and pine nuts until fairly finely chopped, then add the basil and olive oil. When smooth, add the cheeses and butter and process just to combine.