I got this recipe from Gaby’s mom. Ordinarily, you’d make pesto in a food processor, or a blender, but I didn’t keep my blender after college. If you have a bowl with high walls and a blender wand, you’ll be just fine without either of the other two, more heavy-duty mixers.
I have a basil plant in my kitchen, so I just used a few of the larger leaves growing underneath. I would have purchased a bunch of basil from Whole Foods, but it’s Sunday night, and they were packed/sold-out.
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 clove of fresh garlic
2-3 tbsp pine nuts
salt to taste
Wash the basil and remove the stems. Dry it in a lettuce spinner.
With a Blender Wand
You can easily make pesto with a handheld blender. Mince the garlic to give it a head start, and chop the leaves into pieces that will be easier for the wand to manage. Place the leaves, garlic, and pine nuts in a deep bowl and pulse the blender wand until mixed well. Pour in olive oil until it reaches the right consistency (I prefer it slightly dryer)
In a Food Processor
Place basil leaves in the food processor with the garlic and pine nuts. Pulse until chopped and mixed well. Turn the processor on and slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube until you reach a smooth consistency. Salt to taste.
In a Blender
You will probably need to add oil a little earlier than you would in a food processor. Do not over-process or you will destroy the beautiful green color.
Store any leftovers in a glass container and top off with a layer of oil to make an airtight seal and prevent oxidation. In this recipe, I made only enough pesto for one or two servings, but if you’re making a lot and you intend to freeze it, leave the garlic out! Martha’s genius idea: Blend your pine nuts, oil, and basil together, and put the mixture into an ice cube tray. When ready to use, defrost as many cubes as you need, and combine in a blender with garlic and oil. Side note, pine nuts store best in the freezer (as do most nuts) Happy pesto-ing!
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