Pesto is best known as a sauce for pasta. This method for making pesto uses a bit of butter along with olive oil to help it spread better in pasta dishes. It is also delicious as an hors d’oeuvre on toasted baguette or as an accompaniment to other starches, such as polenta and proteins. Makes 1 cup.
2 to 4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups basil leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Cilantro-Walnut Pesto: Substitute cilantro for basil and walnuts for pine nuts. This version of pesto is delicious with fish such as salmon.
Parsley-Sun Dried Tomato Pesto: Substitute parsley for basil and add 1/2 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes in Step #1. Try it toasted on sliced baguette or on sandwiches.