Pesto has to be one of the easiest things to make. I hit the local Farmer's Market and pick up whatever looks and smells delicious. I first learned how to prepare Pesto in a class in Spain. The teacher used parsley, basil, hazelnuts, parmesan and garlic. She had us combine the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.
There was some wonderfully fragrant lemon basil at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. I also picked up cilantro, flat leaf Italian parsley and fresh garlic that had scapes. I combined these ingredients along with lemon zest, fresh squeezed lemon juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.
You don't have to measure anything - just toss it all in the cuisinart (I don't have a mortar and pestle). I went easy on the cilantro - a little goes a long way. Instead of hazelnuts I used mixed nuts - I had a can in the cupboard. My first attempt came up kind of soupy, but that's the great thing about pesto - just toss in more basil and parsley until you have the consistency that you want.
The pesto was delicious on the chilled tomato soup. The next night I had rigatoni. I
sautéed sliced cherry tomatoes and garlic and combined the pasta, pesto, parmesan and lemon juice in the sautée pan along with some of the pasta water. It was delicious!