Saturday, August 9, 2008
Here are the ingredients -- the amounts are just a suggestion; you can adjust them to your taste.
3 packed cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves (can substitute more basil if you prefer)
4 larges cloves fresh (peeled) garlic (not elephant garlic; it’s too mild)
¾ cup grated parmesan (or romano or asiago)
½ c. pine nuts, walnuts, raw, unblanched almonds, or hulled sunflower seeds (or any combination thereof)
salt to taste, or none at all
¾ c. olive oil (extra-virgin, if you want to be really fancy, but any pure olive oil will do just fine)
Put all ingredients into a blender or a food processor. The food processor will quickly produce a smooth paste – the blender will require a little coaxing and stopping and starting and rearranging the contents with a spatula before the paste is achieved. In fact, dealing with vast quantities of fresh basil every summer is what finally convinced me I needed a food processor.
Put finished pesto in half pint jelly jars and store in the freezer. This is wonderful to have on hand for pizza or clam spaghetti or stromboli or any number of delightful dishes.
Then some salt, to taste, and handfuls of fresh, chopped parsley, basil, and oregano, along with some dried Italian seasoning for good measure. Simmer till thickened but be careful it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and scorch. Cool, put in freezer containers, and freeze. This is a great base for soup, spaghetti sauce (add some tomato paste), chili . . .
And you already know about the roasted tomatoes.
One busy day in the kitchen -- but it'll provide a taste of summer memories in the cold months ahead.