Introduction: Roasted Basil Pesto
This is my version of Basil Pesto. Some of the techniques are not traditional, but the results are highly praised. I use a food grinder, but it works nearly as well in a blender.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 head garlic, peeled and lightly crushed, or coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups loosely packed, rinsed basil leaves
- 3 oz. Romano cheese, coarsely chopped or sliced.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Roast Garlic
I prefer to use more pepper and garlic than most, but lightly pan roast them.
For this I use regular olive oil, on a low flame for 5 to 10 minutes. We do not want to brown the garlic, just cook it a little. This makes it a bit less sharp. I also add the pine nuts and some salt at this stage for some light roasting.
Step 2: Blend
If using a grinder, grind the basil along with some of the extra virgin olive oil first. Following ingredients will help push the remaining leaves through the grinder. Follow the leaves with garlic, cheese, nuts. Add olive oil to grinder as needed to aid food movement. Add any remaining oil to bowl. Ingredients vary, so I usually don't measure, and just add oil until the desired consistency is attained.
If using a blender, all ingredients can be combined and blended together in one step. Be careful not to over-blend.
Add salt to taste.