Sunday, August 16, 2009

Basil = pesto

This year I found some fancy basil seeds imported from Italy at the hardware store and decided to try growing basil from seed. Ricardo absolutely loves pesto, so I planted a whole bunch of it, and now we're on our second major basil harvest of the season.

Here's our out-of-control basil, ready for harvest.

Johnny agrees that this stuff sure smells good.

Ricardo is in charge of washing the basil and making sure there are no spiders hiding in there. (In my defense he knew I was a bug-a-phobic when he married me.)

After we pulled all the leaves off the stems, I laid them out to dry.

Meanwhile, I slowly toast the pine nuts until they're a nice golden brown.

Making pesto is actually quite easy if you have a food processor. All you need is basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil (and salt & pepper, of course).

I make it in batches, filling the bowl with the basil, a handful of nuts, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper.

As the machine is running, I pour in olive oil until it looks something like this.

After I've got all the batches made, I combine it all into the bowl again, adding more oil and processing the pesto until it's the consistency I like. 

Voila! I put about a quarter cup of pesto in each of these little bowls, and now they're ready for the freezer. 

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