Recipe: Chef Michael Smith's basil pesto
Classic Pesto Genovese featuring basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
This is a perfect accompaniment for white meats, fish or pasta. Because the word pesto simply means “paste,” you can use many different ingredient combinations to make this tasty condiment. Makes about 1 cup.
Few large handfuls of fresh basil
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Few handfuls of pine nuts
Generous splash or two of your best extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss everything into a food processor and purée until smooth. The olive oil’s job is to help get everything spinning in the food processor. Because it also adds flavour, this is a good place to use your very best oil.
Toss in a few garlic cloves for pungent strength. Try experimenting with different herb, cheese and nut combinations such as mint, goat cheese and pistachio, or sage, goat cheese and walnut.