- 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
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
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.
If not using within a few days, this can be put in containers, sealed with a drizzle of olive oil and kept frozen for 6 months. Makes approximatley 1 cup.
NOTE: one bunch of basil is roughly equivelent to 2 cups of packed leaves. Hunt your local farmer market in September for the best deals as the season end.