Over the weekend, I made what I call Panic Pesto.
Gardeners, you know what I’m talking about: You scan the weather forecast, realize to your horror that a cold snap is projected overnight, and rush outdoors to pick as much basil as you can before it turns all wilty and brown at the slightest hint of cool.
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup dry-toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (see Note)
1/2 cup good olive oil
Purists would place the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a large mortar and smash them to a paste with a pestle. I don’t have a mortar and pestle, so I do this in a food processor. Add Parmesan and pulse to blend. (Note: If you’re making a larger batch of pesto to freeze, which I highly recommend, then it’s best to omit the Parmesan and instead add that when you use the pesto.) Pour olive oil into the work bowl in a light stream and pulse to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.