The basil was very vigorous this summer! We made many great caprese salads, flavored oils and of course, our favorite pesto. Yesterday I pruned and clipped this wonderful herb and decided that it had run its course. It's always a sad day for me, I love summer and this means the end of it for me. Our southern climate may stay warm for awhile longer, but the basil is my personal indicator for the beginning of fall. Basil can live until the first frost, but I find the freshest flavor is during the heart of summer. Yesterday I dry wilted basil for flavored oils and the rest went to our last best summer pesto. Here is my very favorite recipe:
Extra Rich Pesto
6 cups of genovese basil, leaves only
3 large fresh cloves garlic, peeled and roasted (in a skillet with a small dab of olive oil)
1 cup of toasted, unsalted, unshelled, macadamia nuts (dry roast in a very hot skillet. Watch carefully, do not burn)
1 triangle of grated, fresh parmesean cheese (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsps sea salt
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor place basil leaves, roasted garlic, toasted nuts. Pulse off and on until roughly chopped. Start pouring the 3/4 cup of olive oil in a slow steady stream while running the machine on lowest speed. Stop machine, add grated cheese. Pulse and add 1/4 cup of olive oil in slow stream until incorporated.
I serve it on fresh french bread with creamy unsalted butter.
I hope you enjoy it!
PS: don't even think of trying to count calories when you serve this pesto!