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Pesto Genovese

Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Veggie Meals

3 Cups loosely packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, cracked away from the skin
2/3 cup EVOO, divided in half
1/3 Cup pine nuts or chopped almonds, lightly toasted in pan or toaster oven
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place basil in food processor or blender. Place garlic in a small dish, cover with 1/2 of the olive oil, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and let stand 5 minutes to cool. Add garlic and olive oil to the processor/blender and pulse grind into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and slowly stir in cheese, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pesto can be frozen. Once the pesto is prepared, put the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze. Once the pesto cubes are frozen, remove from tray and store in a zip-top bag. When using, defrost and add cheese if desired.