Thursday, August 18

summer savory: the best pesto

image via {here}
hello lovelies!  a recent re-organization of my cooking magazine archive {yes archive, what is wrong with me?!}, brought me back to my very favorite pesto recipe.  a celebration of availability of basil en masse that is synonymous with august, the recipe invigorates traditional pesto with some non-traditional ingredients, such as roasted almonds & ricotta & truly works beautifully with pasta.  and so easy in the food processor, although you could also use a blender.  if you dislike olives, you can leave them out, but i would recommend that you do try: their briny saltiness is the perfect complement to the creamy pesto.  i once served this with peak-of-season corn for the most delicious dinner.

roasted-almond ricotta pesto with olives 
adapted from gourmet august 2009 {p. 108}

with food processor running, drop in 1 small clove of garlic and allow to finely chop.  then stop motor and add 2/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds {find these at the market or roast them yourself in a 350 oven until you can smell the nutty goodness}, 4 cups fragrant basil leaves {yes, this is a lot}, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then process until finely chopped.  add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with the motor running, blending until incorporated.  then transfer the pesto to a bowl & add 3/4 cup ricotta {the freshest you can find} & 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamanta olives {buy pitted or use the tool featured here.  salty goodness}.  season with salt to taste.  then toss with one pound pasta {whole wheat if you would like}, thinning with some of the cooking water.  serve with extra parmesan and bon appétit!

i can just smell the basil already. & pesto is so easy to experiment with: an infinite number of ingredient combinations of nut, leafy green, oil & cheese, suitable for any season.  do try and enjoy this recipe as basil peaks. & feel free to ask me any questions have the most lovely thursday.  weekend is so soon.  xx hillary 

p.s. step-by-step with lovely photos here. 

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