Keep it fresh

blogff0339.JPGHere is a question I ask myself often and as much as I try to keep asking, the answer is always the same: will bad basil make good pesto? Because you know what happens, you fall all over yourself when you get to the basil looking all lush and lovely at the farmer’s market, just cooing at you to buy it and support the fresh herb effort and then three days later you look at it in the bottom of the abyss of the vegetable drawer and think, another 1.99 gone to waste.
No it does not. You have to make a move when you buy basil. You need to take it out of the bag and drop it into a sink of cold water that same minute. You wouldn’t ask someone all hot and bothered and ready to love you to please just wait in the closet until you were ready would you? It kills the mood. Same with the basil.
As soon as you give it a minute to release the bits of sand clinging to the leaves, pick it up from the water, and give it a spin in your salad spinner. The best way to go from here is with a mortar and pestle, but I don’t want you to give up so just throw it in the food processor along with a few leaves of fresh mint, a good pinch of salt and a clove of garlic, and with the motor running, drizzle in your best olive oil in a steady stream. Grate a good parmesan and add about a cup of that as well. Taste for salt and pepper. Cook your pasta until al dente, saving a few spoonfuls of the cooking water. Drain the pasta well and then add a few scoops of the green goodness. Add a little of the water to smooth it out and serve.

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