Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pesto Day!

This year I finally got around to making pesto!  Yeah for me!  I always grow a big patch of fresh basil, but, I usually end up just drying it because I never seem to find the time, ambition, ingredients, etc. to actually follow through.  And most of it ends up just dying in the garden.  You can only use so much dried basil you know.

At my favorite Italian restaurant, which I don't think exists anymore, I always ordered the creamy pesto.  Yum.  I really need to learn to make that.  Ahh, this brings me back to my Italian roots.  ... What's that you say?  What Italian roots?  Well I will have you know that I have a brother and a brother-in-law and two seperate past boyfriends who all went on a mission to Sicily.  Also I used to have a next door neighbor who was actually an actual Italian and had lived in Italy and everything.  SO, um, ya.  Italian roots.

Once I found some pine nuts, or rather had the time to go find them.  I swear I never seem to do ANYTHING, and yet I never seem to have the time to do anything either.  If I could just figure out how to get my kids to do their whole fair share of the work.  Yesterday I had to get my son to do his 5 min. chore (age 13) 5 times because it was so blatantly not really clean.  He gave his usual shrug then later gets all mad because I've been bugging him all day.  SO DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!  Ok, getting a little off topic.  (It was never done right even after 5 times.)    Once I had the nuts I pounced on the basil the next morning and picked a whole basket full.  I actually had to go back out and pick a little more because after I packed my cups it wasn't enough.

It is not hard to do.  I made mine in two batches then mixed the two batches together because my second was too salty.  This is a very basic recipe and can be changed to suit your taste.  Want more Parmesan? toss it in, less nuts?  More garlic?  Add and subtract as needed keeping things more or less to a basic.  I was never able to really get mine super smooth but oh well.  My house smelled heavily of basil for the rest of the day (mostly because the broken stems were in the trash in the kitchen) and of course 13 didn't like the smell of the pesto at all and made his own stink about it but he ate plenty of my pesto rolls for dinner. ;)


2 Packed Cups of Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2-3 Garlic Cloves
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Wash and pat dry the basil and really pack it into the cup and add your basil to a food processor. Pulse for a bit. Now add half of your olive oil and your crushed garlic. Pulse again. Add your pine nuts and the rest of your olive oil. Pulse. Add your Parmesan and pulse. Scrape down the sides of your food processor and pulse pesto until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

I put a little aside to use in the next week, and covered an ice cube tray with plastic wrap and filled the holes with the rest to freeze for later use.


Julie said...

I looooovvvve pesto! I kept telling myself I was going to grow some basil in my yard this year, but I never got around to it. Is it a perennial, by chance?

Trish said...

Mmmmm...I LOVE pesto! I need to grow more basil around here.
A year or so ago I decided to make it without the parmesan and freeze it in half cup portions. Then, when I'm ready to use it, I add the parmesan. I like this method because it helps cut down on the upfront costs of making the pesto. Those dang pinenuts are expensive! (I get mine at Winco now BTW. Where are you buying yours?)
So, now that I'm comfortable with making pesto, I've gone crazy on it. I just made a batch a couple of days ago with mostly spinach since I had a bunch in the fridge to use up. I was short on pinenuts so I used half pinenuts and half almonds. I've made pesto before with a mixture of random herbs and mixed up nuts. lol See? I've gone crazy with it. But it's always so yummy.
I want to hear more about this chili sauce. Future post?

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