The carnivore and I are really enjoying our herb garden. We went away to Mexico for a week and came back to an abundance of basil. I'm not sure if it was because we weren't home using it in all our Italian dishes or if all the rain caused a growth spurt. In any case it wasn't a problem. I just decided to make some homemade pesto. I got the exact ingredients from SimplyRecipes.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
I didn't have quite enough pine nuts so I actually used a mix of both pine nuts and walnuts. You start by placing the basil leaves, the nuts, and the garlic in a food processor . Pulse till blended well. Then drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Next add the Parmesan cheese a little at a time till combined completely. Top with salt and pepper to taste. And voila! You have beautiful basil pesto. It makes about one cup.
I tossed the pesto with thin spaghetti as a side dish on this particular night. The carnivore had the pesto pasta with salmon and I had sauteed eggplant. The other side was zucchini and goat cheese tarts. I also like to use the pesto instead of pizza sauce on a simple ricotta pizza. And, it is fine on its own on a toasty piece of bread.