I hope you have an abundance of herbs right about now. It's that time of year, and so I put my basil to their most delicious use - pesto! It's very easy to make, freezable, and a great reminder of summer in February. I froze mine in an ice cube tray. That way, I can enjoy it in the exact portion I need. It didn't come out as cleanly as I wanted, so next time I'll try spraying the tray with cooking spray. Pine nuts are pretty pricey, so you can substitute walnuts or cashews. I hear spinach is good for you, so I added a couple handfuls. I can't taste, smell, or see a difference from other batches of pesto I've made. If you don't want to use spinach, though, just use more basil. Looking for a dairy free version? Just omit the cheese.
If you're anything like me, after you scrape the bowl clean with a spoon, you'll rip up a piece of bread to get the last drops.
4 oz Romano or Parmesan cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
3-4 garlic cloves
2 C tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 C fresh baby spinach
1/3 C pine nuts
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 C olive oil
Using the metal blade of your food processor or blender, chop cheese and garlic. Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, and process until combined, about 8 pulses. With the machine running, pour oil through feed tube. Process until combined. Scrape bowl and continue processing until smooth.
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