With an abundance of basil growing in my garden this year, I needed to figure out a way to use it. I also grew flat-leaf parsley, so pesto was an obvious choice. This recipe is super simple, you just need to take the time to roast the garlic. You could leave it raw, but I like the more muted (but enhanced) flavor of roasted garlic. Pesto also freezes really well.
1 head garlic
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
3-5 sprigs fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the top off the garlic head and place on foil; drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Close up the foil, leaving a bit of room for air, and place in oven for 45-50 minutes. (Once it's done, the cloves will squeeze right out of the papery outer layer.)
Put the basil, garlic, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor. Start the food processor and stream in the olive oil. Blend until smooth.