When we think of pesto, we think of the sauce out of Genoa, Italy. This lovely, little number traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Fiore Sardo cheese. Interestingly enough, I saw an article the other day that stated "Perfect Pesto Every Time!" And I thought to myself, is there only one right way? What if I want my pesto bright, lemony and tangy one time, and overly loaded with toasted, nutty goodness the next? Just to give you an idea how loose and easy a pesto recipe can be, the name is derived from pestâ or pestare, which means to pound or to crush. This is in reference to the original method of preparation in which the ingredients were blended in a morter and pestle. See, no mention of basil. No rules about pine nuts. Think of pesto as a generic term for anything that is made by pounding. Therefore, there are various pestos, some traditional, some modern. However, I get it. People like parameters, a place to start. So, here is ours.
Put the basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a food processor and blend to a coarse consistency.
If you want the pesto to remain very chunky, remove from the food processor at this stage and stir in everything else by hand. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.
Drizzle in olive oil until creamy.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the grated cheese by hand.
Adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice.
Ok, so remember, these are guidlines. Feel free to use other herbs or greens such as arugula, add some sun dried tomatoes, use walnuts instead of pine nuts, toast the nuts. You get the gist. Right?