I remember one evening when I was a law student and was invited to a married friend's house for dinner. (I think they eventually got divorced, but I suppose that's neither here nor there. The novelty was knowing someone who was MARRIED back then.) My friend had made pesto and I was flabbergasted. Really? That delicious green stuff that I'd been buying in my grocer's refrigerated section was something you could make at home? Well, I'll be!
She told me how to make it, and I've never looked back. It is really easy to make and it's so good. I use a basic basil pesto with just about anything: shrimp (see above photo of a recent dinner), chicken, fish, bread, panini, insalata caprese and of course, pasta. I now make all sorts of pestos, including sage (great on pork), mint (delicious on lamb, delete salt from recipe), cilantro (fabulous on everything) and spinach. For the meal above, I just sauteed some shrimp that I had in the freezer, tossed it with fresh pesto and served with a salad. Ta da!
On Saturday night, we went out for dinner with my cousins, who raved about the restaurant's homemade pesto. I had just made a batch that afternoon and made sure my husband recognized the superiority of MY homemade pesto. I mean really, doesn't everyone make it at home?
Two handfuls greens or fresh herbs, washed, dried and stemmed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
1 tsp salt
Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until pesto reaches desired consistency. All quantities can be adjusted to taste. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for up to two months.