Pesto and its many wonderful uses

Basil pesto doesn’t exactly scream out fall, but oddly, I still have a ton of garden fresh tomatoes. They were once green and have ripened on the counter. I haven’t had much use for them, so I thought why not splurge on a summer favorite to use the rest.

Pesto is a decadent mix of basil, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. The recipes call for a lot of oil, so I’ve often made it by feel attempting to use less and then been disappointed. So I followed the proper ratios for this.

It’s 2 cups of basil leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and 1/3 cup of pine nuts. Plus 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.

The method is to first pulse the basil and pine nuts together in the food processor, then add the Parmesan and garlic.

Pour the oil slowly in at the end while the processor is running to emulsify and then stir in the salt and pepper. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to mix everything in.

This makes more than a cup of sauce. Adjust anything you like. I personally felt more cheese wouldn’t hurt this recipe by itself, but since I intended to serve it with cheese I abstained.

This was wonderful on caprese. Another excellent use is soup au pistou – French vegetable soup topped with a dollop of pesto.

This is onions, red peppers, green beans, carrots and white beans. Add pasta if you like. The basil permeates the broth and makes a plain soup something very special.

And last but not least, green eggs and ham. I love this for weekend brunch.

Alas, all the pesto is gone, but the tomatoes are not! I’m looking forward to trying some winter pestos.

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