I've been using the pesto recipe below ever since I began growing my own basil. It's excellent, and why spend $4.95 for half as much when this only costs a couple dollars to make, including the pine nuts, cheese and olive oil.
My favorite pesto recipe is "chicken pesto," which Bertucci's had as part of their antipasto platter in days of yore. The dish consists of chunks of white meat chicken dressed with pesto. Haven't seen it for years.
Another idea I got from Rebecca's in Kendall Square was to mix the chicken pesto with bow tie pasta and fresh tomatoes for a luncheon/dinner meal. Good. Good. Good. Add pesto according to taste.
Pesto all Genovese - makes 1 1/2- 2 cups
Ingredients: 1 cups fresh basil, leaves only packed and lightly chopped. (I skip this chopping).
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1-2 t. finely chopped garlic (this year it's home grown, like the basil)
2 T. finely chopped pine nuts (can sub. walnuts)
1 to 1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated imported sardo, romano or Parmesan cheese.
Process: in a blender, combine basil, salt, pepper, garlic, pie nuts and 1 cup olive oil. Blend at high speed, stopping to push the herbs down with a rubber spatula.
The sauce should be thin enough to run off the spatula easily. It it's too thick, blend in more olive oil. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese.
The chicken pesto works as part of a antipasto or alone as a light dinner with a salad and Italian bread. The pesto can be thinned further by mixing a little pasta cooking water with it.