Aside from its delicious taste, ease of preparation, and multipurpose use, pesto can also be easily modified to fit your tastes. Basic Italian pesto uses basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. However, you could use walnuts, a different cheese of your liking, and even if a different green if you wish! However you prefer your pesto, just make it at home and I promise you will not be disappointed!
-Approximately 4-5 cups of lightly packed basil
-1/2 cup of pine nuts
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-1 tablespoon minced garlic (I LOVE garlic, but you can also use 1-2 cloves)
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-Salt to taste
(Cut the recipe in half if you are using this to make one pizza)
In a food processor (or blender), pulse the basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt until all ingredients are mixed and chopped. Stop to scrape down the sides of the processor.
With the processor running, slowly pour in the oil. Depending how you want to use your pesto, you may end up using less or more oil. Using 1/2 cup of oil or less will make the pesto more like a paste, which is great for spreading on pizzas and sandwiches. However, using more than the 1/2 cup will make it more of a loose sauce that can be used to toss with pasta.
Grab a spoon and give your pesto a taste! Depending on your taste buds, you may end up wanting more salt or cheese. Once your pesto is to your liking, either use right away or freeze or refrigerate for later use. If storing in a freezer or refrigerator, it is good to pour a light layer of oil over the top of the pesto to help "seal" the pesto before wrapping.