Try this favorite recipe, which is a staple to transform any moment into an Italian getaway. Why, if basil were in the form of a cologne, lip gloss or ice cream, I'd surely score some.
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~ ~ ~ BASIL PESTO ~ ~ ~
2 Cups | Firmly Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
1/3 Cup | "EVOO"
3 Tablespoons | Toasted Pine Nuts
1/2 Teaspoon | Minced Garlic
To Taste | Gray Sea Salt
To Taste | Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pinch | Powdered Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
1/4 Cup | Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Put the basil in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the basil and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove, shake off the excess water, then plunge the basil into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.
3. Squeeze the water out of the basil with your hands until very dry. Roughly chop the basil and put in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, pine nuts, and the vitamin C, if using. Blend for at least 30 seconds. In this way the green of the basil will thoroughly color the oil. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.
The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Yields about 3/4 cup, enough for 1 pound of pasta. Enjoy!
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