One of the joys of summer is an abundance of fresh herbs growing right outside the kitchen door. Toward the end of the season some have gone to seed, others have turned into lanky vines but almost without fail my basil plants seem to vie for a starring role in a Miracle Grow ad. Spring’s seedlings have turned into autumnal bushes and with the first frost perhaps days away it’s time to make some pesto pronto.
Several years ago when I was going through a rough patch I discovered cathartic joy in pulverizing things in my Cuisinart. Luckily the summer of 1995 yielded a bumper crop of basil. With my motor running and oil flowing I perfected the pesto recipe. Soon I had a deep freeze teeming with what would soon become my signature pistachio pesto. This versatile version is made with pistachios instead of pine nuts. Depth is achieved with soy sauce. And fresh mint and a liberal splash of Tabasco add an undeniable kick.
Every fall I create an assembly line. Measuring out all the ingredients. It’s important to note that the Cuisinart bowl cannot properly process more than a double batch at a time.
First peel the garlic.
Then chop in the food processor.
Add the pistachios, Parmesan, olive oil, basil, mint, soy sauce, Tabasco and salt. Pulse until just smooth.
Needless to say it freezes wonderfully.