this year the pride of my garden was a basil plant, grown next to a tomato plant, in an earthbox. tomatoes this year? not much sun or heat, so not too many.
the basil plant, on the other hand, was a thing of beauty – easily as big as a full grown tomato plant. i kid you not.
and so out of that giant and the 3 small mangy ones i had in pots, i managed to get 8 containers of pesto.
a personal interlude. i fell in love with pesto when i accidentally ordered it off of the menu at a fabulous restaurant near my university. i had no idea what it was, but it tasted mighty good. and i proceeded to order it again and again. since then, i’ve gotten into either growing my own basil or buying it from farmer’s markets to put a bunch away for the winter months.
i use the basic recipe out of 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles, which is my all time favorite pesto recipe of all. why you ask? because it’s pretty. very very pretty. and here’s how you do it.
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1) food process the basil until finely chopped. move to a medium sized bowl.
2) food process the pine nuts until finely chopped. move to same bowl.
3) stir in oil, garlic, and salt
stir in 1/2 cup parmeasan cheese and enjoy!
suggestions and options:
– i don’t add the parm for freezing, you can though. it just takes up more room in my freezer.
– freezing pesto in ice cube trays is awesome, but i rarely get around to doing it :)
– try half parsley or half arugula/half basil
– try other nuts. walnuts are nice.
the key to drop dead gorgeous pesto? separating the ingredients in the food processor, only processing until finely chopped and then mixing them together. i love that this pesto makes you say look! a chunk of garlic. yum.
what do you find yourself harvesting this autumn?