All Purpose Pesto
Pesto is a great camp site addition for a number of reasons. It is made easily in a mortar and pestle--a tool that comes in handy when camping. It is a slow-mo form of pulverizing the herbs, garlic, salt and finally the oil, and can be handed off to a helper. It keeps well and it tastes good on so many "pesto delivery systems"--pasta, pizza, toasted bread and of course, sliced polenta. I do not add the Parmesan cheese until serving, as the pesto keeps longer this way.
- 2 generous bunches of basil, washed and dried
- 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on your taste preference)
- About 1 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
- About 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Parmesan cheese grated freshly at serving as much as you like
Method for Camping
- Tear all the leaves off of the basil and discard the stems. It helps to then chop the basil roughly.
- Add the basil to the mortar and pestle and pound to a paste.
- Add the nuts and garlic and continue pounding to create a dry paste.
- Add the oil slowly until you have created a runny sauce.
- Add salt to taste.
- Best to make pesto immediately before use. If you have leftovers keep cool in your camp cooler.
Note: This recipe works fine at home as well and is even simpler. Just add all ingredients but the salt in a food processor using a chopping blade. Blend, then add salt to taste and any ingredient that seems insufficient.