FRESH GREEN BEANS WITH PESTO SAUCE
Prepare Pesto Sauce and set aside.
Trim ends and remove any stringy pieces from green beans. Cook green beans whole in a medium to large heavy saucepan in salted boiling water to just cover beans over moderate heat, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or just until green beans are crisp tender. Or, microwave green beans in just enough water to cover in a glass or ceramic bowl, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at HIGH power for about 5 to 7 minutes, or just until crisp tender. Add additional micro-waving in increments of seconds. Do not overcook beans. Drain green beans thoroughly.
Arrange green beans in a serving dish or divide equally onto dinner plates or individual vegetable dishes. Spoon as much Pesto Sauce as desired over beans. Garnish with toasted pine nuts or almonds as desired and sprigs of fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: To toast nuts, arrange nuts in one layer on an ungreased baking sheet; bake in a preheated slow oven (300 degrees F.) for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Variation: May omit fresh green beans; use whole frozen green beans. Cook according to package directions.
In a blender container or food processor, combine the garlic, basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts or almonds, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and puree mixture, making a paste. With the motor running, gradually add remaining olive oil in a slow steady stream, adding only enough to make a thick paste. Add salt to taste, blending well. Pesto Sauce may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.