This is one of my favorite times of year....tomatoes and basil are in season, at their peak of beauty and flavor. So, I picked up three large bunches of basil and organic heirloom cherry tomatoes. Pesto was on the menu last night....delicious. Scroll down for the recipe.
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted walnuts
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted pinenuts
9 cloves of garlic
5 cups of fresh basil leaves packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, preferably grana padano
Agave nectar to taste
Place the walnuts, pinenuts and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steele blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feeding tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the parmesan and puree for a minute. Add 1/2 tsp (more or less to taste) of the Agave Nectar and puree for 10 seconds. The nectar takes the bite off the raw garlic and balances the flavors.
Serve, or store pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin layer of olive oil on top to retain the color of the basil.