- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups raw pecans
- one huge bunch of basil, stems removed (see picture above)
- 3/4 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
- 1 1/4 - 2 cups olive oil
Put the garlic in a large bowl of a food process and process until chopped. Add pecans and do a few on-off turns. Then stuff the bowl with fresh basil up to the top of the rim. Do a few more on off turns until blended and but still lumpy. Add Parmesan and Olive Oil (start with 1 1/4 cup). Use the On-off turn method until the pesto reaches desired consistency. The pecans should be grainy. It’s important not to puree like baby food. This ruins the flavor and texture!
Add more olive oil until it is the perfect consistency. (I have never had to add salt because the Parmesan adds just enough.) Spoon into 8 oz glass jars, leaving about a half inch. Then drizzle top with pure olive oil to cover (this keeps it from turning brown). Store in the refrigerator up to a week, or freeze up to 6 months. I usually freeze it all until I need it.
(You can use other kinds of nuts, but thanks to my dear friend, Karen Baldwin, I was introduced to the exquisite flavor of pecans with basil. Thank you Karen!)
What can you do with it?
- Smear it on hot crusty bread instead of butter.
- Mix pesto with cream in a saute pan and toss with cooked pasta. Add a few halved cherry tomatoes for color.
- Top grilled chicken or salmon and finish under the broiler.
- Spread it on Paninnis (Italian grilled sandwiches).
- Dip with pita chips.
- Top garlic bread and toast under the broiler.
- Toss with hot roasted or steamed vegetables. And finally, my favorite:
- Eat it out of the jar :)