Pesto provides endless possibilities

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Never underestimate a good pesto recipe.

Pesto can be used to coat chicken for baking; it can be tossed with pasta for an easy-to-make dinner; it can be combined with a bit of mayonnaise to make a potato salad dressing — the possibilities are endless. pesto2063013

Italian basil is usually available at Tahoe farmers markets, which run from about May through September, but can sometimes be hard to find in stores. During the months when it is available, I keep homemade pesto in my fridge at all times.

The recipe I use was given to me by one of the reporters at my last job. He got it from “Pasta Cooking” by Jeni Wright. He said it was his favorite recipe, and it has become mine, too.

While some pesto recipes are more Parmesan and olive oil, this one is all about the basil, as it should be. The original also calls for four tablespoons of butter and a dash of pepper, which you can add if you like. I leave it out. Be prepared for the strong basil flavor. I love it.

pesto3063013If the pesto gets a little dry in the fridge, just stir a little more olive oil into it. It’s definitely something worth keeping around.

Ingredients
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 packed cup of fresh basil leaves (about two bunches, just the leaves, not the stems)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Dash of salt

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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