Thunder rolled and rumbled last night, so uncommon for us here in Western Oregon. The wind picked up, and finally the rain fell, not thunderstorm-hard, but gentle. It was a welcome sound, soothing even. When I woke this morning, everything had a shimmer about it as if sprinkled by little beings while we slept, unaware.
Summer mornings, I love to walk around the yard, inspecting and inhaling, sometimes still carrying my cup of coffee with me. I had a plan for dinner, so the herb garden was the first place I went this morning. It was positively brilliant and buzzing with life. (I’m not particularly fond of spiders, but even they were doing lovely things.) For the last several days, my husband’s been out of town. I wanted to welcome him home with one of his very favorite things – pasta tossed in homemade pesto, made with heaping handfuls of basil from our garden. Something about him smacking his lips pleases me so much.
SO incredibly easy to make, and it’s heads above anything you’ll buy. I don’t mean to brag. But it’s true. (I suppose it would be true of almost any homemade pesto.) It’s all about the fresh! (Well, and always about the love.)
Though traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, it’s a time-consuming method, so I’m giving instructions here for a food-processor or blender. If one day you feel like doing something barefoot in your kitchen and you’ve got the time, put on some romantic Italian violin music, bring out that heavy mortar and pound away as aromatic clouds of basil and garlic engulf you. (Someone may just come up behind you and kiss your neck.)
- 3 packed cups of tender, young basil leaves
- 3 heaping Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
- 3 plump garlic cloves, minced finely
- ½ cup freshly grated cheese, preferably a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano (otherwise all Parmesan) – with extra reserved for serving
- (more salt to taste, if needed)