A much better way to deal with an abundance of basil in the garden than trying to dry it. This keeps at least a year in the freezer – and for months in the refrigerator. Pine nuts are traditional but usually rather expensive and sometimes a bit rancid as they have a short shelf life. I like almonds.
3 packed cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves (can substitute more basil if you prefer)
4 larges cloves fresh (peeled) garlic (not elephant garlic; it’s too mild)
¾ cup grated parmesan (or romano or asiago)
½ c. pine nuts, walnuts, raw, unblanched almonds, or hulled sunflower seeds (or any combination thereof
salt to taste, or none at all
¾ c. olive oil (extra-virgin, if you want to be really fancy, but any pure olive oil will do just fine)
Put all ingredients into a blender or a food processor. The food processor will quickly produce a smooth paste – the blender will require a little coaxing and stopping and starting and rearranging the contents with a spatula before the paste is achieved.
In fact, dealing with vast quantities of fresh basil every summer is what finally convinced me I needed a food processor.
Put finished pesto in half pint jelly jars and store in the freezer.
Add a can or two of clams and maybe a bit of chopped garlic and top with more Parmesan and you've got some nice white clam spaghetti -- an easy meal after all that slaving over a hot food processor. I served sauteed squash, onions and snow peas on the side.