Sauces and condiments can make almost any dish go from ordinary to delicious. Think about it. What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without turkey gravy? Or Eggs Benedict without hollandaise? Or a Shake Shack burger without Shack Sauce? Yeah I don’t know either.
Let me say something else: fellas, do yourself a favor and get yourself a decent food processor. If you hate prep work like I do, then this is a must have appliance for your kitchen. Cuts your chopping, slicing, grating, and mixing time by like 80%. Real talk. I have a 9-cup Cuisinart.
Here’s all you need to make this pesto:
(Not Pictured: Fresh Arugula)
(adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)
1/2 cup dry roasted sliced almonds
9-10 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good-quality olive oil
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fit the food processor with a steel blade and process the almonds and garlic for 15 seconds, or until it looks like this:
Notes: Pesto becomes brown and dried out as it is exposed to air. For storing, pack it in containers with a thin film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
I had some olives so I also made a simple tapenade after I made the pesto, with a handful of olives, a couple basil leaves, the juice of half a lemon, and a 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped. Again, add olive oil while processing until you get the desired consistency. You don’t even need to clean the bowl!
One more thing: do you know how much pesto costs at specialty markets? It’s like $10 for a little 6 oz tub! Get outta my face with that stuff! I made this with basil I had growing in my backyard and I had enough to fill a 32 oz jar. It was basically free. Enjoy!