Saturday, August 8, 2009


It seems like everyone is making pesto bout this time, and why not? It's such a great summery food. So versatile, so simple, so universally admired. But I think it can be daunting for a home cook. So often I hear the "experts" saying that pesto can't be made without a mortar and pestle, it can't be made without true parmesan cheese, blah blah blah.

I for one, don't have a mortar and pestle nor did I have parmesan cheese at the time I made this. I instead used a food processor and some good salty pecorino romano (which I, to be honest, like better than parmesan). Nonetheless, my pesto, though maybe not as good as Claudia's, turned out fantastic (the fact that the basil came from my garden didn't hurt). Forget explicit directions and follow your tastes to great pesto. Here's a very rough recipe for you to tinker with.

5 handfulls basil
1 handful pine nuts
1 handful parmesan
under a half a cup of evoo
clove or two of garlic
few pinches of salt

blend basil, garlic and olive oil, then blend in rest.

really, that's all

Here it is with some roasted potatoes from Lancaster.


Anonymous said...

We never got any updates on this year's garden. How many basil plants did you put in the ground? I have pretty much depleted my six plants of any foliage already. I can still steal enough for most meals, but not any "handfuls" to make a pesto. I like your exact measurements...after all - It Ain't Baking.

mike3k said...

For some reason basil is the one of the few herbs I don't have much luck with. I'm also one of the few people who doesn't have luck with mint. I guess it's too hot & dry for it. Oregano, chives & thyme grow pretty well. Rosemary really thrives and is in danger of taking over most of my garden.

James said...

Nettles make good pesto too if you don't have basil.

Daniella said...

Growing up in an Italian family, there is always a lot of pesto throughout the summer months, and The Adults always followed the traditional Parmesan path as well.

Now that I make my own, I prefer Romano too!

Your post is making me want to go green for dinner tonight.

limoncello said...

Hey, Nick, when we gonna get you out here to San Francisco?
Farina's pesto is not to be missed! Did you catch this little clip? (I believe Ruhlman posted it as well.)