I'm a huge fan of all things pesto. It's such a great little thing to have on hand to pep up everyday food items, like grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, and omelets. Although I normally keep the jarred stuff in my pantry, I do love making my own fresh pesto.
I thought I'd try kicking it up a notch by throwing in some of the gorgeous habaneros I found at the farmer's market earlier in the week. With 1 pepper, it only ranks about a 2.5 out of 5 on the 28 Cooks' Hot-O-Meter, so if you really like spicy, throw in an extra.
This pesto is perfect to toss with pasta and would be perfect with shrimp or chicken. It also makes a fabulous grilled cheese or a really bangin' omelet.
Basil Habanero Pesto
1/3 c pine nuts
5 cloves garlic
1-2 habanero pepper, seeds and stem removed
4 c fresh basil leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c freshly-shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In food processor, process pine nuts and garlic until paste starts to form. Add habanero peppers, basil, lemon zest and juice, and oil, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.