LeeAnn, this one’s for you!
Among the many things I love in life, three are: 1. Summer. 2. Basil. 3. Pizza.
We’ve been enjoying all three of those lately. A lot. We recently learned to grill our pizza thanks to my sweet cousin Hannah and having pesto on hand makes throwing a delicious pizza together super easy. Here’s my version of pesto, adapted from the Barefoot Contessa and Cook’s Illustrated.
makes about 1 cup
2 giant handfuls of fresh basil, washed and dried (2 cups packed)
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts and pine nuts until lightly golden, stirring frequently. Remove to the bowl of a food processor.
Place the garlic cloves in the skillet and toast them until the skin is golden and the cloves are softened slightly. Move to a cutting board, peel the cloves and chop coarsely. Add to food processor.
Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper to the food processor and process until completely chopped and smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl if needed. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse two or three times. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil through the chute until incorporated. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if you think it needs it. If it has a little extra oil, it will rise to the top when you refrigerate it and keep the pesto color bright. Store in an airtight container.
Great spread on a pizza with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, drizzled over roasted or grilled summer veggies, mixed with mayo and spread on sandwiches, or tossed with pasta!
And! Update! I’ve found the PERFECT 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. This is the one, y’all. Don’t be afraid any longer- go for it!