Foolproof Pesto

Pesto is a sauce that signals the arrival of summer. It’s fresh and bright and perfect for tossing with pasta or vegetables, spreading on bread, marinating chicken or fish in, and more. It’s also pretty easy to make and can be frozen, for reminders of summer later in the year. By hand or by machine, here’s how to make it.

1/2 cup pine nuts
2-1/2 cups dry basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

By Hand:

Coarsely chop the pine nuts. Lightly toast them in a dry pan over medium to low heat (until just golden brown).

Coarsely chop the basil leaves. Add basil and garlic to a large mortar and pestle and pound into a coarse paste.

Add the nuts and pound until paste is as smooth as you like (you can keep is coarse if you’d like, too!).

Stir in the Parmesan and add the olive oil. Transfer pesto to a bowl, stir and season with salt and pepper.

In a Food Processor:

Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium to low heat (until just golden brown).

Combine basil, garlic and nuts in the food processor and pulse, while slowly adding the oil, until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

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