September 22, 2006
One Last Taste of Summer, Surrounded by Fall
All summer I’ve had a great supply of basil from my garden. Now that Fall has announced its arrival I decided it was time to pick the last of the basil before the first frost, (yes, frost is soon a possibility, it was only 6°C this morning). With a food processor pesto takes only a couple minutes to make so if you’ve got any extra basil there’s no reason not to. I put the little jar in the fridge to use immediately and the bigger one will go into the freezer to be pulled out when it’s cold and snowy outside and I need a taste of summer. Pesto is obviously very tasty with pasta, but it’s also good on garlic bread and in spanakopitas. It can also be endlessly varied by adding a combination of herbs and nuts like parsley, mint, almonds and walnuts, whatever floats your boat.
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden, cooled, and chopped fine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put everything in the food processor and blend to the desired consistency. If you’re really particular about having bright green pesto then you can blanch the basil first to maintain its colour. If you blanch though only do it for a second or two and then submerge the basil in a bowl of ice water or else it will turn mushy.
Vegetarian + Recipe + Basil + Pesto