Foolproof pesto recipe + 3 ways to play with it
Part of the satisfaction in making pesto is that the recipe always turns out.
If it’s dry, add a little oil. Not enough flavor? Mince another clove of garlic. And once it’s made, a little will go a long way as a sauce for grilled fish, tossed with penne pasta or drizzled over hummus for a delicious spread.
The easiest way to freeze pesto is to pour the mixture into ice cube trays and pop the frozen cubes into plastic freezer bags. Thaw a cube or two as you need it, and presto: pesto!
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups basil leaves
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
In a food processor, mince nuts and garlic. Add a fine stream of oil, blending until smooth. Add basil, cheese and salt, scraping sides of bowl and pulsing until smooth.
3 ways to play with pesto
1. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Mix pesto with orzo pasta. Hollow out cherry tomatoes, draining centers of juice. Fill with pesto pasta.
2. Pesto French Bread
Split loaf of French bread lengthwise. Spread pesto on both sides, put bread back together, wrap in foil and bake 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Cut into thick slices.
3. Pesto Potatoes
Cube 2 pounds red potatoes. Combine with 1/3 cup pesto, 1 tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender and slightly crisp. Stir halfway through. Remove from oven and stir with 4 strips cooked and crumbled bacon, chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan.