This simple Italian sauce brings summery flavor to all sorts of dishes, including our Pesto Pizzas and Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce. Pesto is traditionally made with cheese, but it's just as good without (it freezes better, too).
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups
Source: Everyday Food, September 2005
- 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil; add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool, then pat basil completely dry in paper towels.
In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately, or freeze.