Servings: Makes 3/4 cup
Ingredients 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds1 small clove garlic , peeled1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves1/2 cup fresh mint leaves1/2 cup fresh basil leaves1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for storing1 1/2 tablespoons crumbled ricotta salata1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out almonds on a baking sheet; bake 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Let cool.
Place garlic and salt in a mortar. Add about 1/3 of the almonds, parsley, mint, basil, and olive oil. Using a pestle, crush against bottom and sides of mortar until a coarse paste forms.
Working in batches, add another 1/3 of the almonds, parsley, mint, basil, and olive oil; crush as directed. Repeat with remaining batch. Stir in ricotta salata and pepper; transfer to an airtight container, cover with a layer of extra-virgin olive oil (to prevent oxidation), and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Note: This pesto can be made in a food processor: Simply combine the ingredients and blend 20 to 30 seconds, to a coarse paste. Chef Michela Larson prefers crushing them in a mortar with a pestle —a slower process, which she finds results in a more aromatic, flavorful pesto.