using this recipe as a guideline (yes, the chopping was tedious but mostly worth it—there was only a little cheating involving a prep chopper and garlic), we made a few cups of pesto. initially the rougher chop left the garlic quite spicy (could have just been our local garlic, too. yowza!), but after a day or two it mellowed significantly. it's intentionally denser in texture than most commercial pestos. pouring olive oil over the top surface, after spooning into its storage container and smoothing flat, will keep it from oxidizing in the fridge. let it come to room temp before doling out into recipes, or add a little more olive oil if you portion it while cool (the oil congeals when cool)...just keep it capped with olive oil and it will keep a few weeks.
1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried (2 c. or so)
3 med garlic cloves
1 large handful raw pine nuts, walnuts or local pecans
3/4 c. parmesan, fresh grated
1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
begin chopping garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil. once loosely chopped, add more basil, continuing until it's all incorporated. when basil and garlic are a very fine mince, add about half the pine nuts and chop, then the rest. add half of the parmesan and chop, then the second half. in the end the chop should be so fine that, when pressed, it holds together in a basil "cake." transfer to a small bowl (not much bigger than the pesto blob). cover with a few tbsp of olive oil, not much is required, just to cover it.
here's where the potato salad come in:
from smitten kitchen
2 lb small Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb green beans, cut into one-inch segments
1/2 c. pesto
3 tbsp (to taste) mild vinegar: champagne, white wine, white balsamic (or maybe even rice wine?)
1-2 scallions, chopped
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. add beans; cook 2-4 minutes longer. drain well and cool slightly, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl. toss beans and potatoes with pesto, vinegar and pine nuts, and season with salt, pepper and additional vinegar to taste. store at room temperature until serving.