Pesto, really, in its simplest form. You can turn this into a traditional pesto with the addition of pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. The puree is extremely versatile–use in salad dressings, in soups, stews, mix with mayo, mustard, enliven beans, grains… Cilantro, parsley, mint, sage,all the leafy herbs can be used. A food processor is easier to work with than a blender, but either are fine.

4 large cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1/4 t salt
4 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves (and flowers), or other herb, or a combination
6 T extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the garlic, salt, and basil leaves in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process to a paste.

2. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil through the tube and process again. Taste for seasoning. Stir again before serving.

3. If storing in jars, cover the top with olive oil. Always make sure there is some olive oil covering the puree. The puree can also be frozen.