Quick Basil-Walnut Pesto


I wish I could say my time off from the internet has been productive--well, technically it has if you exclude typing out nearly 500 personal comments for elementary music students. Yikes. Grading time always makes me go a little crazy. My dear, dear husband has been so sweet though, bringing me tea (and the occasional beer), making dinner, and even doing the dishes! What a gem, that boy.


We've been a little lazy in the kitchen recently (well, I guess I should speak for myself) and have been spending some time (on the couch) searching through Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything to find simple and quick recipes for nights like these past few. I have to say, as much as I love cooking and baking, it really does seem impossible some nights (losing my patience at school does not generally translate to calm and even-tempered cooking experiences with my husband in the evening).


Mark's book is really great; if you don't have it I would highly recommend it! He literally has recipes for everything, and then some. We came across this pesto a few weeks ago and it just seemed so stupidly simple. We even had some really great olive oil from Italy--it was meant to be! The pesto was ready from start to finish in a grand total of ten minutes--before the pasta was even done--and really hit the spot on a tough evening of school work. Now that's my kind of weeknight dinner!

Happy ISAT week, teachers! Go drink some wine with that pesto.


Quick Basil-Walnut Pesto
Adapted from Mark Bittman

Makes about 1 cup

2 loosely-packed cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 clove garlic, peeled, or more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/2 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Place basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, a pinch of salt, and about half the oil in a food processor or blender. Blend for a few seconds, then stop to scrape down sides and blend again. Slowly add in more oil until it reaches your desired consistency (more oil means a thinner pesto). Stir in cheese by hand right before serving.

Pesto will last in the freezer for several months or in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.