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.