Pesto is sort of an à la minute preparation. You don't have to leave it for the absolute last moment, but don't make pesto ahead of time. It loses it's verdant luster pretty quickly.

Good uses for pesto:

Makes enough for about 12-16 oz pasta, serving four

In a cuisinart:

  • 2 oz fresh basil 
  • Scant ¼ cup roasted pine nuts (see instructions, right)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (I use Grana Padano)

Pulse Cuisinart until thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary.

With motor running, add through the tube:

  • ¼ cup good olive oil

Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.