Monday, June 13, 2011

Fresh pesto

Basil leaves are so aromatic they call your name as you walk past, or so I assume, I've never walked past without stopping for a sniff. The plants trumpet the delights of fresh pesto, caprese salad and real napoli pizza.

My basil plant started growing like crazy, especially considering the small pot it calls home. It was growing so much, I had to buy a food processor, seriously, it was a requirement. Plus I found an amazing deal for a small Cuisinart food processor online and now I can make hummus too.

I made just enough to use for one large serving of pasta or about a 1/4 cup.

20-30 basil leaves
1 clove of garlic
~3 tablespoons of olive oile
2 tablespoons of pine nuts (or walnuts)
1/4 Parmesan or Romano cheese
sprinkling of sea salt

equipment: food processor

Place nuts and garlic and cheese in food process and chop them up. When they are corsely chopped, add salt and basil leaves and pour small amount of olive on top, reserving additional oil to add later (it helps coat the leaves and get them to settle down toward the blades). Chop until fine and well mixed, adding additional olive oil as needed.

Perfection. Or it will be next time - I used way too much garlic, as in 3 cloves, so all I could taste was garlic. When I was breaking apart the head of garlic three stray cloves broke off and I just decided to use them all, because I like crazy amounts of garlic but not that much. I have hope for the next rendition and am contemplating buying another basil plant.

Look for my end of summer post on how to preserve pesto for use during the winter months, after the of season basil harvest.

Pesto is great on pasta, sandwiches, toast with cheese and a variety of other uses. Enjoy the summer!

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