Thursday, July 9, 2009

Basil Pesto

I love Basil Pesto. And I am growing 4 very healthy bushes of it in my garden this summer. I've been keeping it well watered and I have been pinching off the flowers so that it does not go to seed and stop branching out. So far this approach is working. My plants are big and healthy. Next summer I plan to expand my basil production mostly because it is fun to give away and the pesto I make with it freezes so nicely. I made a batch a week or so ago and ended up with about 4 small containers of it and tucked 3 of them into the freezer after I used one of them to put on our dinner. I made penne pasta dressed with the pesto and topped it off with some chicken that I pulled off of a rotisserie chicken. I sauteed up a small yellow squash and a zucchini from the garden and added that as well. Topped it all off with some Parmesan Reggiano and it was good!
Here is my recipe for pesto and the amounts are approximate but don't cannot make this wrong. If it is too chunky just add more olive oil. If it is too thin just add more Parmesan cheese. Real Parmesan Reggiano is best so use it if possible! This is also good on bruschetta. Spread some on the bread before adding the tomato mixture or place a small dollop on top.

Basil Pesto

1 large bunch of basil leaves, washed and trimmed from the branches
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 to 1 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper

Place the basil leaves in a food processor and process till very fine. Add the garlic and nuts and process. Through the feed tube, slowly pour in the olive oil while processing the mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese and process adding more olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings to how you like it. That is it. For storage, place in container and pour olive oil over the top to help stop it from turning brown. I keep it in the refrigerator and usually try to use it up in a few days. Place the rest in separate containers and label and freeze.

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