A few weeks ago I picked up my food bag  and what did I find?  Fresh basil.  What in the world do I do with fresh basil?  I made soup and put a little bit of it in the soup, but after that I didn’t know what to do.  The result?  It went bad.

This time when I picked up my food bag there was more fresh basil.  With a little help from my friends I decided to make pesto.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or even how it would taste, but I think that it worked out well.

Pesto made!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Special equipment needed: A food processor

METHOD

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
Makes 1 cup.

I didn’t really measure two cups of basil, I just used the whole bunch that I had.  I also didn’t use nuts because I put some of the pesto in a macaroni casserole that I made for a potluck and wanted to avoid nut allergies.  I didn’t add any pepper and just a pinch of salt. I also just used my blender.  It worked great, so don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor.

As I re-read the method of the recipe I didn’t really follow that either!  I put in the basil and added the oil, minced garlic, cheese, and pinch of salt and blended it together.  It didn’t seem to make a difference they way I put it together.

In the freezer!

It was suggested to put the pesto in an ice cube tray and freeze it so I did.  The next morning I woke up and took out the tray.  It was solid as a rock and wouldn’t come out!  I asked a friend at church the best way to get it out.  Really, why didn’t I think of what she said?  I took her advice and ran the bottom of the tray over warm water and they popped right out.  I individually wrapped them and then put them in a baggie.  Now they are back in the freezer and ready to put in soups, sauces, and really anything I want to try it in!

Finished!
Next time I will try it with almonds and see how it turns out.

Now that I’ve made Pesto, what do I do with it?  Check out my recipe for Pesto Sweet Potato Mash.

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