Pesto

My Dear Friends,

I love my garden.  I just made my first of many, I am sure, recipes from its contents.  I highly recommend having a garden.  It is not as time consuming as one would think, and the reward is so wonderful.  I read several books before diving in and I highly recommend All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.  Though he is somewhat fanatical about his way being the only way, I did learn quite a bit about the way of having a smaller and more efficient garden.

After I finished watching my favorite cooking shows and Julie and Julia, I wanted to spend an afternoon cooking up a storm.  Tomorrow begins another long week at work, and I wanted my last afternoon to be spent in my kitchen having cooking therapy.  Two things I must make are hummus (great snack for when I am working) and pesto.  My basil is huge! And I found some pine nuts in the freezer.  Pesto is one of those ingredients that add charm and elegance to a dish.  I put it on everything but mainly my sandwiches. It adds so many flavors to the sandwich.  So in search for the perfect pesto recipes, I found that I actually like Weight Watchers recipe.  Surprise, surprise!!  I found that I did not miss the large amount of olive oil as much as I thought (though I did add a bit more).  I hope you enjoy!

Pesto
Adapted by Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

1 bunch fresh basil, stem removed (about 2 cups packed leaves)*
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 tablespoons water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place the basil leaves in a food processor and pulse until chopped.  Add the pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt, and pulse.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons water and blend.  Add the Parmesan cheese and blend.  Add more water if the mixture is looking dry.  Pulse for about 30 seconds more.  Spoon into a storage container and add the last tablespoon of olive oil (this will absorb while it is sitting) and chill.  The pesto is ready to serve now; however, I like it better after it has been chilling for about 1-2 hours.

Makes about 1 cup.

*Since the basil is from my garden, I needed to wash it.  Then I dried the leaves in my salad spinner.  It worked great!!! I highly suggest getting one for salad leaves (much cheaper when you buy a head rather than a bag and for drying herbs etc.).

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