Saturday, October 8, 2011


When the rainy, cold weather hit last week, I panicked and picked all of the basil growing in my flower bed.  I didn't want it to freeze and turn black and gross before I had a chance to turn it into pesto.
Luckily I had some nuts in a cupboard, and parmesan in the fridge, and it took me about 15 minutes to throw it all in a food processor.

There are lists of things you can do with pesto, such as stirring it into soups or pasta, or spreading it on bruschetta. I also tend to get in the fridge and sneak a spoonful of it several times a day. What a guilty pleasure. I always tell myself I'll freeze part of my batch for later use, but it never lasts that long.

When I first started making pesto. I used the "Silver Palate Cookbook" recipe, which calls for walnuts. But I like to use about two or three times as much basil and less cheese; that's my way of "cutting down the calories." It ends up being pretty thick and not as oily. You can always thin it with a little water or olive oil.

I've made pesto with walnuts, pine nuts, almonds  — even macadamia nuts when I came home from a trip to Hawaii. It's all good as far as I'm concerned.

Now the sun was shining today, and I'm hoping to get another batch of pesto before winter really hits.

BASIL PESTO 6-8 cups packed fresh basil leaves (you don't really need to measure exactly; just lots!)
4 medium cloves garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder) 1 cup almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or macadamia  nuts 

1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Process basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil and cheese in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Divide into small, plastic containers and freeze.

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