|lots of basil. lots.|
|so much basil|
So here's my pesto for you--and I think you should probably track down a large amount of basil sometime soon so you can make some. You won't regret it, I promise.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 medium garlic cloves
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
a healthy pinch of coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times so they are coarsely chopped. Combine the basil with the nuts and pulse a few more times. Add the garlic, and yep, you guessed it, pulse again.
Next, turn on the food processor and slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream (do this while the motor is running--this is what makes the pesto smooth and creamy-ish). Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula to make sure you don't miss any basil. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Finally, add the lemon zest, if you're using it, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Mix into pasta, spread on good bread with homemade ricotta (a story for another time), use for pizza, or to top grilled chicken or fish, eat it on crackers, throw it in your eggs....you get the idea, be creative, you know I like that!
This was the first spot my pesto ended up--on a little pizza with some feta and slices of the baby zucchini I found at the farmer's market.