Now that summer is coming to an end and fall is gearing up, it’s time to make batches upon batches of fresh pesto and freeze it for the coming colder months. We’ve always used Ina Garten’s pesto recipe as a guide, but over the years we’ve changed it so many times that it’s really become our own. Our addition of mint and rosemary is pretty unique to a pesto, but the mint provides a nice (not overpowering) fresh, clean zing, and the rosemary just makes the pesto more fragrant.
Since we both work in the academic world, we’re back in the swing of busier schedules (goodbye, summer) and are sometimes scrambling for a quick, tasty meal. This is pesto is great for a chaotic weeknight meal. If you make a few batches of this stuff and store it in the freezer, you can easily thaw it and add fresh flavor to any pasta or chicken dish, or even serve it as a side with pita.
Some people like their pesto more runny than thick, but we like it the consistency where you can still spoon a dollop of the pesto on things. (Side note: Does anyone else still sing “Do a dollop of Daisyyyyy!” when they hear the word, “dollop”?) If you want your pesto to be a bit more pourable, add more olive oil than we call for.
We do think this pesto is the besto and hope you agree!
The Besto Pesto
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 0 min.
5 cups fresh basil leaves
10 mint leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup raw pinenuts
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add the pinenuts and move them around constantly until golden brown. They will turn golden brown fast, so be attentive. Set aside to cool.
In a large food processor whirl around the garlic for about 10 seconds. Then, add basil, mint, rosemary, parmesan and pinenuts. Turn food processor on and allow to spin for about 20 seconds. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer pesto to an airtight container and place plastic wrap on top of the pesto, then seal with a lid. Store in fridge or freezer.
Makes 1 cup of pesto.