Presto! Pesto!

With an abundance of basil – and no tomatoes ripe yet to go with it – it was time to get started putting pesto in the freezer!  It’s really not at all difficult to make on your own – whether you use the old country way of a mortar and pestle – or the fanciest danciest food processor!

This year we had fun planting two varieties of basil – purple and green.  Whereas it is kinda cool to see purple leaves in the garden and they might make a pretty and unique garnish, it still makes pesto that turns dark green in the end – and the plants are not nearly as vigorous and high producing as the standard green basil.  But we had to experiment, so we made a separate batch with just purple basil.

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Here’s the ingredients you’ll be needing.  Basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts (or walnuts), parmesan cheese, and salt. Pretty simple!

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Start by adding to the food processor 1 cup of whatever kind of nuts you are using (make sure you toast them first – usually about 5 minutes or so at 350 in the oven – or tossed in a skillet until brown.)

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Next add the garlic. The recipe calls for 4 cloves, but you can use more if you really like garlic!

Love my daughter’s Fourth of July fingernail?!

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Give the nuts and garlic a quick chop in the food processor, and then add the basil.   This is four cups very tightly packed.

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You may have to add it a bit at a time and process to make room for more in the processor.

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Throw in 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  We don’t use that canned stuff around here!  Parmigiano reggiano is the best!  Pecorino romano also works.

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And blend it until it’s all about this consistency.

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Slowly drizzle in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of olive oil (extra virgin, regular, or a mixture of both) until the pesto is the consistency you like.

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This is perfect!

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Add salt to taste.  For one batch of pesto you will probably use 1 to 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt.

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Then it’s ready to put in jars, label, and freeze.

 

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Here is the comparison of the purple and green basil.  The purple pesto isn’t really purple it’s just more of a dark green.

Pesto is so versatile!  It can stand alone as a pasta sauce – makes a great sauce for baked chicken breasts or fish- use in marinades and salad dressings – flavor sauces – anywhere you want cheese, basil and garlic!  Enjoy!

2 comments on “Presto! Pesto!

  1. I just love pesto and your purple basil is beautiful! My mother-in-law is super allergic to pine nuts so I have gotten into the habit of using walnuts instead. . . keep up the yummy posts!

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