Jennifer McIlvaine changes her "pestos" with the seasons--stinging-nettle pesto in spring, basil and mixed herb in summer and fall, and hearty greens in winter. The recipe is flexible enough to allow experimentation; try it with your own favorite herbs. Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes.
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
6 cups loosely packed basil leaves
2 cups loosely packed tender green herbs, such as Thai basil, mint, parsley, summer savory, and/or tarragon
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Stir 1 tablespoon salt into a large pot of boiling water. Add basil and other herbs; cook for 10 seconds, then drain. Plunge herbs into a large bowl of very cold water (this step helps preserve the bright green color). Drain and gently squeeze out excess water.
In a food processor, whirl herbs with parmesan, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, the garlic, and 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto bruschettas and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving with bruschetta.
Bruschettina, Ballard, Columbia City, and Edmonds, WA