Oct 7, 2016 // By:Robin // No Comment
My friend Terry called me one day with a particular problem. He had a garden full of basil plants ready to harvest, and he needed help deciding what to do with it. He had mounds and mounds of beautiful bright green lettuce leaf basil. We had to think of something and quick. Now that is a serious problem!
Ok… I am joking. I L-O-V-E having fresh basil in the garden. There’s nothing like picking a leaf or two and using it on your hamburger or turkey sandwich. Well, unless it is this super quick and delicious pesto. Why do we buy freeze-dried mixes and long-shelf-life pre-made pesto when it is so very easy to make?
Within just a few minutes, your kitchen will smell fabulous and you will have a bowl ready for an hors d’oeuvre table, a big bowl of pasta, or a spread for burgers and sandwiches. You can savor the flavors and dream of the Romans gods (yes, pesto – or pounded – herbs have been around that long).
So if you or a friend grows basil in the garden or if you find a batch in the grocery store, try this out.
I am now off to find someone with fresh pine nuts in the garden… hint, hint Terry.
Until next time…
Why do we buy freeze-dried mixes and long-shelf-life pre-made pesto when it is so very easy to make?
Line a shallow pan with parchment paper. Spread out the raw pine nuts to a single layer. Roast the pine nuts at 275 degrees for 10 minutes - or - until they are light golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Set aside to cool.
Wash and de-stem your basil. Pat dry and place in your food processor.
Peel all of the cloves of garlic in your bulb. Cut the larger ones in half or thirds. Place in your food processor with the basil. Add salt and pepper.
Pulse the ingredients until the garlic disappears into the basil. It will turn a bright green, and it will be at the beginning stages of making a paste.
Prepare the cheese by removing the rind and cutting into cubes. Add to the garlic and basil.
Pulse the mixture, this time adding a bit of olive oil as it processes.
Add the toasted pine nuts. Pulse again, continuing to add olive oil. The end result should be a beautiful bright green paste.
If not using all of the pesto immediately, store in an air-tight container BUT put a thin layer of olive oil to cover the top. This will keep it from turning brown.
I have been known to freeze this mixture in an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, be certain to take them out and individually wrap them in saran wrap. This will keep them more fresh.
January 01, 2017
January 01, 2017