Let’s play a little word association, shall we? When I say “Late July,” you say, what?
If you had asked me that growing up, I would have said “basil.” My mother has the greenest of green thumbs (which I seem to have not inherited) and would have serious amounts of basil to contend with this time of year.
That meant pesto of every shape and form and put to every use possible when it came to the kitchen. It’s such a rich combination of nuts, cheese, and oil that I’d eat spoonfuls until I couldn’t stand the smell of the stuff anymore.
But all those trips to the garden picking basil taught me a thing or two about making it. I learned that I like a super smooth pesto that can just coat a freshly made pasta and that I like the flavors just nuanced enough that you get every flavor at once (no toasted pine nuts or excessive garlic for this girl). But the ultimate thing I learned was technique and it’s something I learned quite recently.
For years, I had combined all the ingredients into the food processor or blender and then drizzled in the oil as if I were making a dressing, which makes for a perfectly respectable pesto. But, a friend of mine turned that on its head a few years back when he insist that was not the right order. Instead, he makes a sort of loose pine nut butter by first combining the oil and nuts and that creates this super stable super creamy base which results in a pesto that will not separate and is so creamy it seems you actually added cream to it.
I’m so convinced this is the technique for Classic Basil Pesto that I shared it in my book, Keys To The Kitchen, and that pasta has made many fans. I’m sharing just the pesto with you here because, well, I trust you can figure out how to use up pesto. Just learn from my mistakes and don’t eat it by the spoonfuls until you’re sick because you should never get sick of a great Classic Basil Pesto!