It's hot out there! Leave the oven off and join us for No Cook Month. All August we're keeping it cool with recipes and entertaining tips without all that sweaty baking.
There are many variations on pesto, the classic sauce with roots in Liguria on the northwestern coast of Italy. Whether pounded in a mortar and pestle or whirred in the food processor, they all have one thing in common: beautiful, fragrant leaves of fresh basil.
The most classic version, which happens to be our favorite, involves fresh basil, raw garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts and luxuriously fruity Ligurian olive oil. We don't like to mess with a good thing, but a touch of lemon zest really brightens things up. Use it to dress pasta, smear on sandwich bread, dip grilled vegetables or season a bowl of chilled soup.
Pesto Genovese with Lemon
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 10 minutes
4 cups loosely packed basil
Zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian
Kosher salt, to taste
In a food processor or blender, add the basil, lemon zest, garlic, cheese, and pine nuts. Pulse until the mixture is roughly chopped, about 3 to 5 seconds. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the mixture becomes smooth. Season with salt.