Today we are making homemade Basil Pesto.
Ok, go on out into your potager and pick a big old basketful of basil and parsley. You are going to need about 4 cups packed of basil and about 1/2 cup packed of parsley, so fill that basket up!
Now, I know how we all love our Caprese salads with fresh basil and home grown tomatoes, but what will we do in the middle of the winter, when we want that fresh garden taste? That, is why we are making basil today.
We we finish making it, we are going to freeze it. Then, in the middle of the cold winter, we are going to pull it out of the freezer and use it in a comforting pasta dish.
O.K....Ready? Gather your ingredients.
You will need:
4 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
2-4 Cloves of garlic
Zest of a lemon
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
sea salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Place the basil, parsley, peeled garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. It will look like the picture below.
Next, with lid on, drizzle olive oil in slowly while processor is running. It will now look like the picture below.
Place the pesto into a large bowl and then add the Parmesan and Romano cheeses and fold them into the mixture. Note: You don't want to add the cheese into the processor, because the blades of the processor can heat up the cheese and start to melt it and you could end up with a gooey mess.
When thoroughly mixed, place by spoonful into ice cube trays. Freeze until solid, then remove from trays and place in a Ziploc freezer bag and place back into the freezer.
This winter, you will be able to put out one or two cubes of pesto at a time and add to pasta, sauteed fish, put it under the skin of a chicken breast and roast, spread a toasted baguette with cream cheese and drizzle pesto on top. Add to soups and so much more.