Basil Pesto

I can't think of a better way to enjoy the Summer flavors of fresh basil than by using it in a classic pesto sauce. This sauce is great tossed with pasta, on top of grilled meat or fish, or as a base for a green pizza in lieu of the tomato sauce.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 3 minutes

3 cups basil, packed
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the pine nuts and garlic. Toast for a few minutes or until golden brown, shaking the pan occasionally to toss the pine nuts and promote even color. Once the pine nuts are done, remove them from the pan and continue to toast the garlic. Remove it from the pan and remove the skin. Wait until both are cooled.

Place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and pulse until smooth, but still a tad grainy in texture. Place everything in a bowl and stir in the cheese.