This weekend I realized I had almost forgotten the pleasure of harvesting the big, bushy basil that is almost waist-high at this point. We brought in a basketful of leaves and then enjoyed processing several batches of pesto - some of which I'll freeze so we can enjoy it longer. Last summer's frozen bounty was destroyed by the days without electricity during the hurricane. Maybe we'll make a point to consume it faster this year so we don't expose ourselves again to that risk.
4 cups firmly packed basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown
1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon to maintain bright green color of the basil
Olive oil to taste/desired consistency
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add basil leaves, a several generous pinches of salt and pepper, and pulse until roughly chopped. Add pine nuts and pulse ~5 times until nuts are roughly chopped. Add cheese. While food processor is running, continuously stream olive oil through the food chute until a homogenous paste is formed. Process less for a chunkier pesto or more for a finer pesto. Squeeze lemon juice over pesto and pulse a few times to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste.