Pesto

It’s summer, it’s August, it is Pesto time, an easy, versatile, non-cooking required, sauce. The versatility is with both the ingredients and uses. The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market will be hosting a pesto making/tasting demonstration during the market this Saturday, August 5. Stop at Duke’s Farm, Gabriel Caplett – farmer, will be demonstrating how he makes pesto with the basil and other greens he grows. Check out this website for suggestions of uses for pesto beyond pasta. http://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-use-pesto-beyond-pasta-tips-from-the-kitchn-119782

INGREDIENTS

1 bag of sweet basil or one small bunch of kale or collards, stems removed (about 2 packed cups of greens)
2 TBS pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans
2 large cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil (use a milder oil, such as avocado or safflower oil when making a pesto with kale or collards)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Remove the basil or other greens from the stems and lightly chop.  Leave 2 packed cups of the greens in a bowl. Grate cheese and put 1/2 cup in food processor. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil to the processor. Peel garlic and add 2 large cloves to the processor. Grind the greens, cheese, oil, and garlic in the food processor. Lightly chop nuts and add 2 TBS to the processor. Grind the ingredients together again, making sure to leave the nuts with some texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes at least one cup.

When exposed to air, the chopped basil leaves will darken, the flavor is not affected. If the darkening bothers you, there are a couple of things you can do to lessen it.
1) Use all of the pesto right away
2) Place pesto you want to keep in a container with a smaller opening, smooth the pesto and pour a bit of olive over to cover the pesto, that will keep the air off and therefore lessen the darkening
3) Blanch the basil leaves prior to chopping. Place basil leaves in a colander, pour hot, hot water over them. Once the leaves are bright green, submerge them  in ice water to stop the cooking process, drain and dry, then proceed with your recipe. (This tip is from The Splendid Table, episode 611, last 3 minutes of show.)