Curious about how to grow and harvest your own basil? Check out our previous post on that.
We will always hold a special place in my heart for Pesto. Our parents have been making their own pesto for as long as I can remember. Even when we moved to massachusetts and had our mini 3’x2′ patio, they still made room for a couple planters full of basil so that we could make pesto. We always had stockpiles in the freezer, so we always had a pesto supply year round. Other than this nostalgic love for pesto, we love its versatility. Pesto pasta. Pesto pizza. Pesto garlic bread. Pesto-stuffed chicken. There are so many meals where pesto can shine.
The first time I had store-bought pesto was when I went off to college and had my own apartment. No deck = no pesto = sad Sharon. So, as soon as we both became grown up and had our own apartments, we were anxious for spring to come around and we could grow some basil.
Making pesto is unbelievably easy. All you need are the ingredients below, and a food processor. Plus, pesto holds great in the freezer. And because basil grows like a weed (seriously, it’s nuts), you will easily have enough pesto to last you a whole year.
(Makes 2-3 cups)
3 cups basil leaves, cleaned from flowers and branches
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely cut
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
To help maintain the deep green color, blanche the basil. This is done by submerging the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, then shocking right away in ice water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the liquid.
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients. Process until smooth.
Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as long as 2-3 weeks. You can also store the pesto in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to use the frozen portions, simply let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
– food on,
Sharon & Shirley