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Basil Pesto

This simple Italian sauce brings summery flavor to all sorts of dishes, including pizza and pasta. Pesto is traditionally made with cheese, but it's just as good without (it freezes better, too).

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups
Basil Pesto

Source: Everyday Food, September 2005

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Cook's Notes

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