Remember when Phoebe Buffay asks that of Monica’s sous chef Tim in Friends? Tim answers that he doesn’t know if it’s the best-o but it’s pretty good-o.
I love Friends. I also love my own weird version of pesto, about two times a year, and then I’m done.
Pesto is a weird choice for me. I’m not crazy about garlic and I hate pine nuts, which I understand are in a lot of traditional pesto recipes. Not only do I not care for things that taste like the rosin I used to put on my violin bow (yes, I “played” violin, but never well, and I was only 11 at the time and can be forgiven for the noises I produced, which are probably still out there orbiting the planet, frightening people), but I hate the idea that pine nuts can actually alter the way you taste food. Permanently. I read that somewhere. Even if it wasn’t true, I’m taking no chances.
So here’s my take on the summertime, kelly green treat. I love this with toasted sourdough baguette or just a chunk pulled from the loaf and not toasted.
1/3 cup olive oil (I’m really not picky and grab cheap brands)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (not the type that comes already grated – it’s missing something)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (does anything smell more wonderful?)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional; my last batch was a little too salty and parmesan is also salty)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is nice but not mandatory)
Throw everything into a blender and pulse until it’s nicely combined. Eventually the oil will come back out of the mix, but olive oil by itself with fresh cracked black pepper makes a nice dipping sauce for bread, so not really a problem. Plus you can always just scoop the oil back in with the other ingredients with the bread. Messy and easy for a summer lunch with maybe leftover barbecued chicken or steak, and maybe a bunch of green grapes.