February 13, 2007

An Old Acquaintance and a New Recipe

It’s been a joy getting to know you again, my friend. I first met you 2 years ago, but then I went away, where, sadly, you could not follow. I may have forgotten about you altogether if you weren’t so good at your job, Monsieur Cuisinart. You make such easy work of so many otherwise grueling tasks. You let me make homemade pesto in a matter of seconds, and for that, you have earned the right to rest in my kitchen among such other valued appliances as the Kitchen Aid mixer and blender.

One of my favorite uses for pesto is to brush it lightly on baguette slices, top with crumbled goat cheese (and maybe sliced tomato) and broil for a few minutes for a quick appetizer. Of course, it’s also fantastic over cheese tortellini.

Basil Pesto
(recipe from The Best Recipe, Cook's Illustrated)

2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Salt, to taste
7 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet until fragrant and light brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the garlic slices, a pinch of salt, pine nuts and basil leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until fairly smooth, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Add the olive oil with the motor running until fully incorporated.

Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the cheese and more salt, if needed. Cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of oil or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 5 days. This will cover about ¾ lb of pasta.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh, boy isn't that the truth. Fun read. I'm looking forward to the growing season starting up again because basil will grow like a weed again in my back yard!!

Gattina said...

Delicious!!! I'm a big fan of pesto!