Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto with a Texas Twist

There is a booming crop of basil in the yard of our rental house.  The obvious way to use fresh basil is to make pesto.

Pesto is typically made with not only basil, but also pine nuts or walnuts.  I decided to take a different tack.  I used locally grown pecans like a good little locavore, and I added a jalapeno for a little zing.

Texas-Style Fresh Basil Pesto
Makes 1 cup

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 jalapeno, diced, optional
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

It is best to use a food processor, but you can use a blender, too.  Combine the basil and pecans, and pulse a few times.  Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the processor/blender is on.  Stop to scrape the sides with a spatula.

Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Add the jalapeno, pulsing yet again to blend.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

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