We are at the Cambridge house this weekend. Prepping and planning and getting her ready for sale. It’s been a great house with a lot of memories. I am sure our next home will be just as memorable. Although, this one will be difficult to beat.
We built some garden planters at the back of the shed a couple years ago. We haven’t really used them for the past two years. Anyway, we came home one weekend to find a basil plant under all the weeds. How lucky am I? I plant basil every year and love to cook with it. Somehow the wind or a bird was kind enough to take a seed to one of the beds. It is huge and healthy plant; it appears happy there.
Here on the shore it’s another steamy, hot, unbearable, day. There is no relief outside, the pool water is like a bath. So what’s a girl to do? I decided to stay in the kitchen today and cook. That basil plant was screaming pesto. This recipe calls for 5 cups of packed basil leaves. That’s a lot of basil! Even after taking all of that from the garden there is still a ton left. It needed a good prune to continue to grow and get bushy. Mission accomplished on both fronts.
Pesto is such a versatile sauce. It’s very easy to make; using the food processor makes quick work of it. I use both pignola or pine nuts, and walnuts in mine. I have used all walnuts or all pine nuts and the results are just as good. This recipe also calls for good olive oil and a good cheese. I love aged parmeggiano / reggiano. It’s a little pricey but the taste is outstanding. No sense in making a tasteless sauce.
Pesto is good on pasta, pizza, chicken, or tomato salad, or other vegies. I love making paninis with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, and pesto. You can also freeze this sauce. I like to put it in small 2 oz containers, cover it with a thin film of oil and put the containers in the freezer in a freezer bag. It’s a great way to have the fresh taste of basil all year long. It brings summer into your kitchen even in the coldest months.
- 1/4 C, heaping pine nuts (pignola), toasted
- 1/4 C, heaping walnuts, toasted
- 9 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 5 C, fresh basil leaves, packed tightly
- 1 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1 t fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/4 C olive oil
- 1 1/4 C freshly grated, Parmigianno / Reggiano
- Toast the nuts in a dry pan, until golden and slightly browned.
- Put the toasted nuts, and chopped garlic in the food processor and process 10-12 seconds.
- Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube and continue to process until all the ingredients are pureed.
- Add the parm/reg and puree til com well combined.
- Use right away or store in the refrigerator with a thin film of oil on top.
- If freezing put in small single containers, again put a thin film of oil on top. Put containers in freezer bags.
Til next time,