Three to One: Basil Pesto

THREE TO ONE: A lot of people ask me why I called my blog “Three to One”. It was based on the idea that there are a lot of recipes on the web and that if you search something simple, like ‘chocolate cake’, for instance, you’ll get a barrage of well meaning and possibly amazing ideas, but how do you know which is the best? How do you know which one will taste great? And which one do you try without wasting money and time on ingredients and cooking? What if someone were to test and take all of those, and reduce them down to just one? Since it seemed (to me) recipes seemed to take usually three different tacts. I wanted to create a site that was taking the three tacts, and reducing them to one. Thus was born, Three to One… 

My garden has 3 plants of Basil that I’ve attempted to keep alive this past Summer. (Try as I might, I’m not a great gardener!) But now is the time to make pesto, so I stripped most of them down, took off the leaves and brought them inside. After research and testing a bunch of recipes from the web, I’ve found the basic, fool proof, no-fuss, Basic Pesto recipe combination. (And it takes just 5 minutes!) Shift it up as you will… add fresh Mint leaves, Lemon zest or Lemon juice, or even crushed Red Pepper, for instance. 

The basic pesto breakdown is this: 

2 cups of loosely packed fresh Basil leaves.
2 medium cloves of Garlic.
1 quarter cup of barely toasted (so they are creamy not nutty or bronzed) pine nuts.
1 half cup of finely grated good Parmigiano Reggiano.
2/3 of a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
One very big pinch of Kosher Salt.
A grind of freshly ground Pepper.

Put in a food processor. Blend.

Place in fridge to eat in the upcoming week or freeze in portion sized containers. Pour over pasta in the dead of Winter to remind you of Summer. A lot of cooks suggested not putting in the Parmesan in before freezing, but my time is limited and I want to be able to just take it out of the freezer, heat it, and just pour it over pasta and serve. (Who knows if I’ll even have good Parmesan in the house to add when I take it out of the freezer?)


(Photo Dimity Jones)


4 thoughts on “Three to One: Basil Pesto

  1. Macadamia nuts or roast almonds & even toasted walnuts work well if you something cheaper than pine nuts. When I have a large batch to freeze using ice cube moulds is a good single serve. But any way is good!

    • Great idea Steph! I also made a mint pesto with the same breakdown… that was mainly mint with a bit of parsley. (No Basil) and I’m saving that when it gets a bit chillier, as it might work well over a toasted lamb sandwich… with marinated peppers… for instance.

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