Perfect Pesto in a Blender

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I love pesto. Okay, I basically love anything that involves basil, olive oil, and garlic; so pesto was an easy sell.  The sauce can be made with either pine nuts or walnuts, but I stick to the former thanks to a walnut allergy.

While in Michigan this weekend, Suj’s sister gave us a huge bundle of fresh basil from her garden.  With so much basil, we needed a recipe with instructions for blender preparation (rather than a food processor).  About an hour before my flight home, Suj prepared a delicious batch of fresh pesto sauce: a little to eat, a little to freeze, and a little to send along with me.  He made some minor tweaks to this recipe and the results were perfect.  Even Erin approved; though she said he cheated by using parmesan cheese.  But come on, cheese makes everything better!

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Classic Pesto 

4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (toasting optional)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste (about 2 tsp)

Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic in blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add cheese, salt, and lemon; blend until smooth. Serve or freeze for future use. Stays fresh in fridge for a couple days.

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