Friday, July 22, 2011

Time to Make the Pesto . . .


Basil Pesto
A much better  way to deal with an abundance of basil in the garden than trying to dry it. This keeps at least a year in the freezer – and for months in the refrigerator. Pine nuts are traditional but usually rather expensive and sometimes a bit rancid as they have a short shelf life. I like almonds.

 


 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.
 
Add a can or two of clams and maybe a bit of chopped garlic and top with more Parmesan and you've got some nice white clam spaghetti -- an easy meal after all that slaving over a hot food processor. I served sauteed squash, onions and snow peas on the side.
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17 comments:

Ms. A said...

If my (grown) kids saw this, they would be beating down your door.

Joan said...

I'll be over for dinner!

Martin H. said...

Yum, yum!

Alan Burnett said...

I seem to have an abundance of dandelions in the garden - any suggestions for them?

Brian Miller said...

yes alan, wine.

mmm, love some fresh pesto...thanks for the recipe...

rather ominous shadow in that first pic...smiles.

Thérèse said...

A mystery lady!
Good use for so much basil.

Louise said...

That looks good, and easy, which is a must for me.

KarenB said...

It may be next weekend for pesto-making here. We usually make 9 or 10 pints of it and freeze it. You can make a fabulous pizza with pesto as a thin layer of sauce. Yum!

Jean Baardsen said...

The shadow in the first picture could be on the cover of a mystery.

Barbara Rogers said...

lovely recipe, thank you...I've only one potted basil plant, but now I can do something with those delicious leaves,

Deanna said...

Yum! No basil in my herb garden. Now I wish there was!

Star said...

That basil looks wonderfully fresh Vicki. It's very expensive over here in England and most people grow it in a pot on the window sill in the kitchen. There would never be enough to make pesto, unfortunately. However, I really enjoyed looking at yours and had to click on all the pictures today to get a bigger look! The dish at the end looks scrumptious and I can only imagine the wonderful smell of that aromatic basil filling your kitchen with enticement!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Slaving over a hot food processor....now that's a good one Vicki. Your pesto looks delightful.
Sam

Vicki Lane said...

Today it's beans. I picked about a bushel before lunch and now must get them blanched and into the freezer...

jennyfreckles said...

The first photo looks like you're preparing to cook up a potion. I love the scent of basil but Star is right, it tends to be an expensive little pot-grown herb here and doesn't last long before keeling over.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog - that meant a lot to me.

Kath said...

Yum!

Suz said...

fresh pesto....
yum indeed