There’s a restaurant that sets up at our local farmer’s market and they always offer free samples of their pesto. Every week we go to the farmer’s market and every week I try a sample and try to figure out what it is they have done differently. There is something about this pesto that sets it apart from the rest and makes you keep coming back for more. After numerous attempts this summer, I think I’ve finally gotten it.
This pesto is perfect for dipping salted bread chunks, tortilla chips, and corn chips. It pairs wonderfully with a simple pasta as a light summery sauce, and you can even incorporate it in a chicken dish (pound out a chicken breast, put a layer of pesto on top, roll it up/secure with a toothpick, and cook normally for a nice burst of flavor)!
2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves, packed tightly
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup of a really good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup plus 2 TBSP Pine Nuts either roasted or raw – I prefer a combination of the two
4-5 medium sized cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste – I like to go a little heavy on the salt, several heavy grinds of kosher salt really sharpens the basil and garlic flavors
1. Wash, rinse, and pat dry your fresh basil and dump it into your food processor or blender. Add in the pine nuts and garlic and pulse a few times to get the big pieces chopped up a bit.
2. Measure out your EVOO then turn the food processor on and slowly dribble the oil in while it’s mixing and chopping. When the oil is completely poured in, add the Parmesan cheese and let everything mix together. (You can stop the machine and scrape down the sides as needed.)
3. Add in your salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to mix and that’s it!