Pesto

1 large bunch of fresh basil 

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of raw walnuts

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese 

1 tspn lemon juice

2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp fresh black pepper

 

Summer is here and our basil plants are starting to grow out of control.  That means pesto for me, and here is my basic recipe.  Bring some water to a simmer and quickly blanche the basil for 10 seconds.  Take out the basil and place it in a bowl of ice water.  This will set the green color.  Squeeze out excess water, and add this to a blender or food processor.  Toast the walnuts in a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes, or until the walnuts are warm.  Add to the blender.  Finely mice 3 cloves of garlic and add to the blender with the lemon juice.  Pulse this mixture a few times, until a past forms.  Add about half of the oil, parmesan, salt, pepper, and pulse again until mixed nicely.  Pour into a container, add the other cup of oil, and mix again by hand to get the right consistency.

Once the pesto is made, I will roast off a few chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 F for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.  Prepare some fresh green beans and blanche in simmering water for about 60 seconds.  Pull them out and throw them in an ice bath, much like the basil.  Drain the beans and dry them off on a kitchen towel.  Dice up the chicken and add to a large bowl with the green beans.  Dress this mixture with the pesto until you get a nicely coated mixture.  Taste and add a bit more salt if needed!