2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)I toast my pine nuts lightly, just enough to bring out the nutty flavor.
4 garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 – Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
2 – While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Tip – when storing basil always keep it covered in olive oil. That will help keep your Pesto fresh.
When using in dishes or to top food off with it heat it up on the stove to release the aroma.