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The pesto recipe I use comes from a woman who calls the aromatic concoction of basil and parmesan and olive oil "green gold." I love that idea of it being "gold" -- despite its rich green color -- because nothing makes me feel wealthier, at least culinarily speaking, than having a big batch of pesto in my freezer as winter approaches, knowing it will flavor soups and stews and pasta sauces all winter long.

I've been making Anna Marie Thatcher's pesto recipe for at least 10 years now. This year I have an especially big bumper crop of basil in my garden this summer. I've already frozen a big batch of pesto and have been slathering the garlic-infused mixture on everything from tomatoes to pizza to pasta to zucchini. I like to freeze it in small jars or in even smaller quantities, like ice cube trays and mini-muffin tins, so that it can be taken out of the freezer in small amounts and added to dishes as needed. One "ice cube" of pesto is just about perfect for one serving of pasta, I find, but others may like more or less.

Here's Anna Marie's recipe:

Green Gold Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 cup pine nuts (or less, as desired)

4 cloves garlic

1 cup olive oil

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1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (although I often cut that to 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup freshly grated Romano

pinch of salt, or to taste

Pulse the basil, pine nuts and garlic together in a food processor until well chopped, and then slowly add olive oil while continuing to blend but stop short of making it too smooth. Blend cheeses in to desired consistency. I like my a bit chunky, not a smooth paste. It keeps in refrigerator, covered with a layer of olive oil for freshness, for a couple of weeks. Freeze for longer storage.


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