Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time to make the Pesto!

My garden runneth over with yummy Basil.

That means it's Pesto time!

Pesto is one of my favorite treats. I love it on pasta, warm bread, grainy crackers...I'm even guilty of eating it straight out of the jar all by itself. So when the garden is packed with basil, I don't like to waste a single leaf. If I time it right, I can put up enough pesto to last us until the next growing season. I always put a couple of jars in the fridge to enjoy right away and I store the rest in quart size freezer bags, making sure to squeeze out all the air and freeze them flat for easy storage. When I'm ready to use the pesto, it's easy to break off the amount I need.

Pesto is so easy to make and almost impossible to mess up. You can easily add or subtract ingredients according to your preferences. I don't have a set-in-stone recipe. It's more of a handful of this and pinch of that. I'll give you a rundown of how I usually make mine, but experiement a little and come up with your own perfect pesto!

Basil & Spinach Pesto

2 big handfuls of basil leaves
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese (not the powdered stuff in the green can!)
kosher salt
red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or pinenuts
olive oil (amount depends on how thick/thin you want your pesto)

Whirl it all together in a food processor until desired consistancy. Enjoy!

* I went back through my archives and found this pesto recipe that I posted last year. As you will see, it's a little different from the one above, but they are both delish! As I said, it's hard to mess it up!

Basil Pecan Pesto

4 handfuls of basil leaves (rinse well and dry)
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pecans
juice of one lime
black pepper
red pepper flakes
olive oil

Toss basil, garlic, cheese, pecans and lime juice into a food processor or blender. Begin to process and slowly add olive oil to desired consistancy. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. Store pesto in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for future use.

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