Basil Pesto (adapted from Eating Well’s recipe, Sept/Oct 1995)
**Note: basil is traditionally made with pine nuts. They’re delicious but rather expensive. Walnuts work just fine, and even peanuts will do in a pinch.
1 C packed basil leaves
**3 T walnuts or other nuts
1 clove garlic
(1/2 tsp salt – I usually omit this, since Parmesan is very salty)
1-2 T grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese
around 3 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
a little water if needed to make a wet paste
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend/pulse at low speed until you have a fairly smooth, wet paste. (I use a fork to carefully push ingredients down into blender.)
Using a spatula, spread paste into empty, clean ice cube trays.
Freeze solid (takes several hours).
Remove cubes from trays using a fork or knife down the side of each cube.
Layer pesto cubes in a plastic or glass freezer storage box with a tight lid; place a sheet of wax paper between layers.
You can store pesto cubes for several months.
Use about 2 cubes pesto per bowl of pasta, or more to taste.