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Friday, November 9, 2012

Pesto Equals No Vampires

One clue that I am not a vampire, despite a glow-in-the-dark complexion, is my perpetual desire for garlic.  On my bucket list is an all access pass to Garlic Fest in Gilroy, CA with line jumper access to all the food.  So it should  be of little surprise that after a nasty little case of food poisoning earlier this week - thanks Outback - once I regained my appetite, I wanted garlic.

When the storms rolled into the Northeastern United States in late October, we brought all of the Jonny Sparks Lounge Acres' basil plants indoors.  To my delight, they have been flourishing on the sills of our southern-facing windows.  All it took was one particularly healthy plant to serve as the basis for this homemade pesto, which we served atop pasta shells...with a lot of garlic.  

Be warned, for a normal person, just use one clove of garlic.  Two cloves and you will begin to ward off vampires.  Three cloves as this recipe calls for will also ward off friends and colleagues.  After a steaming hot bath with eucalyptus salt, fresh mint to chew all night, and an extra hot shower this morning, I'm afraid my pores are still emitting garlic essence.  Well, at least my tummy feels better.  This recipe comes to us courtesy of  

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

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