(care of Brett Grohsgal, Even' Star Organic Farm, Lexington Park, MD)
There are many pesto sauce recipes. This one is balanced and straightforward and tested on countless restaurant patrons in my years of chef-ing. It freezes superbly if jarred and covered in ample amounts of olive oil. The oil stops oxygen from oxidizing the basil and turning it bitter, and is imperative. The recipe does require a Cuisinart or similar food processor; a blender tends to overheat the basil. --Brett
¼ c olive oil
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
¼ c white wine
¼ c almonds or pine nuts, toasted and then cooled
about 4 c basil leaves (Genoa type)
at least ½ c more olive oil or vegetable oil
¼ c grated Romano cheese
more salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the garlic in the ¼ c olive oil until soft but not very brown. Immediately add the next three ingredients and simmer until the wine volume has reduced by one half. Let cool.
Process all this in a Cuisinart until the garlic is fully pureed. Add the nuts and process until nearly smooth. Add the basil and plenty of olive oil or vegetable oil.
Process further, until the basil is just barely smooth (no leaf pieces bigger than 1/8”), always adding more oil if the surface of the basil appears exposed to air.
Add the cheese and process 15 seconds more. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a Tupperware or a glass jar and immediately be sure that there is at least ¼” oil floating over the basil. Keeps 6 weeks in the ‘fridge or 2 years in a freezer.
Serve over linguine or angel hair pastas.