1) I thought I lost my recipe notes for this pesto and I almost cried.
2) I ate this entire batch selfishly, barely sharing, over the course of five days-- I thought I'd have so much pesto that I'd even have some to freeze and enjoy this winter. Nope. That did not happen. Well, there was a lot, that part I was right about. But it never even saw the end of July let alone the fall or winter.
This recipe is very easy and to say it was delicious would be a major understatement. Pesto-perfection is a bit more accurate.
2 cups freshly picked, rinsed, and packed basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil (plus 1 tbsp for sautéing onions)
1/2 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon (or 2-3 tbsp, can be measured to taste)
Zest from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup walnuts
Salt and Pepper to taste (begin with 1/2 tsp of each)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of crumbled Feta cheese
Sprinkle red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread walnuts in a thin, flat layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Walnuts will become darker as they toast. Keep a close eye as they can burn quickly once they're at that nicely toasted point. Remove from oven and allow to cool, and then place in food processor.
Remove stems and rinse basil leaves, measure 2 packed cups and add to food processor.
Add 1/3 cup olive oil to food processor.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to skillet.
Chop onion and garlic, and add to the skillet heating on medium heat until onions are translucent and lightly caramelized. Allow to cool and add to food processor.
Slice lemon and zest one half directly into the food processor. Juice this same half, pouring the juice into the food processor.
Process these ingredients together, folding the mixture and scrapping the sides as needed until mixture is consistent.
Add 2/3 cup grated parmesan and 1/3 cup of crumbled feta to the food processor.
Season with salt and pepper, processing and tasting until seasoned to your preferred taste.
Add a sprinkle (or two!) red pepper flakes for a little kick.
(Makes approximately 16 ounces.)
This pesto can be tossed with cooked pasta and served as a sauce. It can also be spread on pizza instantly upgrading even the simplest cheese pizza. It's also super tasty thickly spread on toasted baguettes with fresh tomato slices and mozzarella. Or used as a dip with crackers for an easy, healthy, afternoon snack! Enjoy!