If you’ve been following my blog (or it’s precursor on my FB author page), you know that I have been working on, in, and with gardens for some years now. One of the plants that we tend to grow a lot of is basil. Over the last several weeks we’ve been harvesting these plants and making large quantities of basil pesto. It’s not all that labor intensive and if your store it right, you’ll have this delicious dish to enjoy all winter long.
If there is a nut allergy you need to steer clear of, just don’t add them.
Here’s what we do…
2 C Fresh Basil Leaves, packed
1/2 C Grated Parmesan (or Romano)
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 C Pine Nuts (can substitute walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans)
3 Cloves Garlic
1/4 t Salt, add more to taste
1/8 t Pepper, add more to taste
Do yourself a favor and do NOT try to do more than a double recipe. The consistency is tough to regulate once you go that big.
Harvest basil and wash each leaf individually, pat dry.
2. Add basil and pine nuts together in a food processor and pulse several times. Scrape down the sides.
3. Add garlic and cheese to the food processor and pulse several times. Scrape down the sides
4. If possible, stream the olive oil into the mixture slowly. If this is not possible, add olive a a little at a time and while scraping down the sides with each addition.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Toss the mixture with cooked pasta as is or add the mixture to a skillet of warming heavy cream then mix with cooked pasta.
Long Term Storage:
Place the mixture in ice cube trays and freeze immediately.
Once frozen, remove from the trays and place all cubes in a Ziploc freezer storage bag.
Melt 2-3 T of butter in a skillet
Add small amounts of flour to create a roux.
Add heavy cream and allow to warm.
Stir gently to work the roux into the cream.
Add 4-6 cubes of frozen basil pesto.
Gently stir until the cubes are melted and incorporated.
Once incorporated, toss the mixture with cooked pasta.