Pesto

23 Sep

I LOVE PESTO.

Love it. It took me 32 years to understand it….but now that I do, I cant get enough of it! Typically, I grow at least 9 plants of basil every summer and in late September I whack them all and make 15-20 batches of pesto to freeze for the wintertime!

Pesto is so easy. It’s adaptable. There are so many variations: basil, arugula, red pepper, parsley, sun-dried tomato, spinach…etc. There are variations on nuts you can use instead of the traditional pine nuts: pistachio, walnut, almond, sunflower seed….etc. You can also vary the types of cheese! Pesto is great!

Ingredients

I stick with the traditional pesto though. Recently, at one of my farmers markets, there was a vendor selling basil for “$2/a bunch”. I said “how do you quantify a bunch?” to which she replied – “as much as you can carry with your hands.” I made out like a bandit and instantly knew I was making pesto! Look at this pile of basil!!!!!!! You can practically smell it, cant you?

Pile of Basil

Closeup

The hardest part about making pesto is trimming all of the basil.

Here are all the ingredients dumped into the food processor. It’s as easy as that – dumping everything together into the food processor. Read the recipe to see my secret ingredient.

And here it is 2 minutes later all ground up into a paste:

Here is another closeup because this stuff is off the hook.

There are a couple people who are FANS of my pesto (My brother Pat and my friend, Jeff). So I am always sure to freeze several containers and give them out when I see them. I ALWAYS have containers of it in my freezer to either take with me to someone else’s house or to enjoy in my own. It is so awesome to have some fresh garden pesto on a dreary January day…..I think my brother and I are the only ones I know who can just eat spoonfuls of this stuff. Isnt that gross? So gross, but so good!!!!!

And here was the recent grilled pizza I made with this pesto on this day. It was so darn good. I feel like the vendor had a couple strands of Lemon Basil mixed into the regular Genovese Basil because there was a bright lemony taste!

I just hacked 3 of my 5-foot tall 9 basil plants this past weekend and made about 18 batches of pesto. Here are my tall plants – in the garden and then some of them hacked down waiting to be plucked apart:

Here is the assembly line of ingredients to make it easy to dump into the processor and keep moving.

What in the world does 18 batches of pesto look like? Well, to me it looks like heaven….

39 containers of deliciousness….

Pesto Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 anchovy (optional)

Directions:

De-stem and wash all basil leaves and dry thoroughly. Place in food processor with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and salt/pepper.

Turn food processor on and grind until it forms a thick paste (about a minute). Now, you may not want to add the anchovy. And you dont have to! But it adds another dimension to the flavor and makes it richer. I really enjoy it – it does NOT taste like anchovy at all.

Drizzle in olive oil while food processor is still running and run for another 1-2 minutes. Done!

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10 Responses to “Pesto”

  1. Laurie Legate October 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I read your blog the other day and saw this and KNEW i had to make some STAT! I bought a pound of basil leaves at work yesterday and just made 5 batches. This is an excellent recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

    • lmullane October 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      that is awesome, laurie!!! so glad you went for it and liked it!!!!!! that makes me happy to hear 🙂

  2. dskrzycki September 29, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Freeze?

    • lmullane September 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Um YEAH! I have 40 of these lil containers in my freezer right now….for MONTHS they keep! So it’s great to make a bunch and be able to pull out some delicious flavor in january.

  3. Damaris September 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Awesomeness, many times over.

  4. Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger September 24, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Now I know what I’m doing when I get home from work 🙂

    • lmullane September 24, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Hell to the yeah!!!!!!

  5. Melissa September 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    I love your blog and pesto. 🙂

    • lmullane September 24, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Thank you and thank you 🙂

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