Our Basil Pesto

Inspired by Bea Lazzaro in her cookbook we own titled Italian Provincial Cookery on page 44. Bought the book in the 1990s and Mary and I have always made pesto this way.

  1. Add enough basil leaves, somewhat compacted, to fill the large food processor;
  2. add 6-8 average size garlic cloves roughly chopped;
  3. shake coarsely ground fresh black pepper evenly around the processor;
  4. add a little less than a 1/2 tsp kosher salt;
  5. spread evenly a large pinch of red pepper flakes;
  6. pour oil from pour spout of the bottle once slowly around then once faster;
  7. add 2-3 oz. of creme cheese cut into fourths;
  8. blend until a rough paste and scrape sides with spatula;
  9. add ½-cup walnuts or pecans that have been roasted in a castiron skillet;
  10. add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese;
  11. blend until mixed and adjust oil to have a slight sheen.

If there is more than one processor of basil then blend it all and put the batches into a common bowl. When all is processed mix together in the common bowl to have one consistent batch.

7/12/2019 – The above was edited/clarified this date to match what we did today that made six ½-pints of pesto. This was the first pesto made at the farm.

6/13/2021 – Added a lot more cayenne red pepper flakes from last year’s garden. It is a bit spicy! The basil is from seed Mary grew in the new greenhouse and transplanted to her yard garden.

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