This recipe is based on one my Dad sent me. I make it in large batches and freeze it to eat all winter. Or longer. I still have a jar labeled 08 in the freezer, although I think I may have just reused the lid last summer.
- 2 c fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp salt (or less)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (or 5 twists of a grinder)
- 3 cloves garlic or more
- 1/2 c olive oil or less
- 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese (not the Kraft kind we used as kids on spaghetti. Your cheese can affect the flavor greatly. I tried a ME-made parm that I don't care for in my first batch. Then I returned to the Bel Gioso I used in WI (it was local there). I like the pesto better.) You can also use Asiago or other dry cheeses, of course.
I have made enormous batches (8x recipe) in a metal bowl with the stick blender; far more than I could put in a regular blender. This is the only thing I used the blender for, so I got rid of it and bought a really nice stick blender instead. I don't recommend making 8 batches at once. It took me 3 hours, and I didn't have to grate the cheese that time. But my basil was all bolting so I had to process it right away.
This year, I'm going slowly and have made 3 batches so far on two days. I don't think I have as much basil either; although I have more plants than ever before, they aren't as big as they were in WI. For the first time, my basil actually sprouted and grew--it's the only thing that's growing better in ME than in WI! By the time I knew it would grow, I'd already bought 6 basil plants, too.
Nutmeg and I both love this on pasta, making our favorite dish, pestasto! I've also made some breads (fougasse) with it. I'll make more this winter and post them.