I love growing vast quantities of basil. I love the scent of it when I'm plucking the tops in order to push the energy back down into the plant to make it grow bigger and bushier. I love using it to top a home grown tomato sandwich, or on warm toasty bagel, slathered with cream cheese with a slice of red onion and a slice of red juicy tomato. I love it in a burst tomato sauce as it scent mixes with the other ingredients giving off a tantalizing aroma. But I'm pretty sure my favorite thing to do with basil is to make pesto.
A sea of basil in my garden
For me, pesto is the scent of summer and when I break out a tub in November or in February, it is as though I am transported back to long, lazy summer days, being outside working in my garden with my Jolly girl for company or with friends at a BBQ.
The ultimate pesto ingredients... Looking forward to making pesto and all the wonderful dishes that goes with it!
I am so blessed...
I went and checked my recipe for pesto. When I finally found it (it was in one of my handwritten cookbooks) I got to laughing because it says things like, '3/4 of a handful of Romano and of Parmesan'. Great. Just great. Really. Thankfully, at some point after that initial recipe, I found that I'd written in other instructions and they are as follows;
2 cups firmly packed Basil
1 cup of olive oil (I recommend Lefas)
1 cup Romano, grated
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
@ 6 cloves Garlic, fresh
1 tspn Salt
A bowl of freshly made pesto
-Put the basil, garlic, nuts and olive oil in a food processor and let it go until it's all really well ground.
- Transfer to a bowl then add the grated cheeses and salt and mix thoroughly.
-Put in container and stick it in the freezer. This recipe makes a very concentrated pesto.
-To use the pesto, take the pesto out of the freezer and set it on the counter before you start your pasta water.
-Start the water and cook the pasta. Once the pasta is done, before you drain it, scoop out a spoonful or two of pesto, add some of the water used to cook the pasta to the pesto and loosen it to a desired consistency.