My garden at school is rocking and rolling this year! YEA lots of rain and some hot days. I went over today and the basil plants (all three of them) were GINORMOUS. So, I cut the basil and made pesto. I was able to freeze 5 bags of it for a winter day. There isn't much better than taking out a bag of fresh pesto during a blizzard and reliving a warm July day!
The only sad part about basil is that once you blend it all up into pesto... that huge pile that you were certain would make a donzen bags... makes five. But beyond that, pesto is so simple. There are so many ways to make pesto. Some call for nuts, some do not. Some have parmesean cheese some do not. I like Ina Garten's recipe. However, I didn't have nuts on hand today, so I made a simpler version closer to this one: http://www.thewaytohisheartblog.com/nut-free-pesto-sauce/ I'm not a great measurer, and really I didn't have a ton of olive oil on hand. This pesto is a bit thicker, but since I'm the one cooking with it, I just know that it is good to dilute it down with more evoo or some cream and it will still be very flavorful. Essentially pesto is about two parts basil to one part olive oil plus some garlic, salt and pepper.
I use pesto with pasta mostly. I also love smearing pesto on a pizza crust and putting tomatoes, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella on it and then either grilling or baking.
|My Pesto....sorry the picture is upside down.|
But the pesto is now in the freezer, and I don't want
to get it out to re-take the picture. I hope you understand. :)
Ps: here's Ina's Pesto recipe (I like that it has both walnuts and pine nuts... and she even says sometimes she uses only walnuts.) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pesto-recipe2.html