Saturday, July 12, 2008

First Pesto of the Season

This week I made two small batches of Pesto. The Basil is coming in and we LOVE Pesto in our family, with an Italian name like "Molaro" it is practically required!
I grow the Basil Variety called Sweet Genovese. This is the third year in a row that I have gotten this seed from Cook's Garden and I have been very happy with the results.
Last year we also grew a Lemon Basil variety.. but were not as pleased with it for Pesto or tomato sauces. So halfway through the season we just started ignoring it. Let it flower and just forgot about it.. Well this year we are overrun with Lemon Basil and we have learned to cook with it. The lemon basil is nice in Thai and Indian cooking..
But the lesson here for me is that it is easy to have basil reseed itself! I never knew this because I am so obsessive about heading the basil to let it bush and keep producing new leaves. So this year.. I will allow some of the Genovese to flower and go to seed so I will have self-seeded Basil next year! And I will save seed to get some started too.. just in-case this variety is not as good about reseeding itself. I'll let you know.

So.. PESTO..
My Recipe..
~A colander full of freshly picked basil leaves washed, de-stemmed and dried in a salad spinner
~1/4- 1/3 cup of nuts (I have used pine nuts, toasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, toasted sunflower seeds... depends on what you like and what you have on hand)
~1/4 - 1/3 cup of grated cheese (parmesan or romano)
~3-8 cloves of garlic (depends on your love of garlic~)
~enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make it the "right" consistency
Zip it all up in a food processor and freeze as quickly as possible.
When I make Pesto, I put the finished product in Ice Cube Trays and freeze for a few hours before I put the cubes in a zip-lock bag. The quicker you can get them into the zip-lock.. the greener the pesto will stay.. Keep them open to the air and they will turn a dark almost black green on the outside.
These Pesto Cubes make a great addition to soups, stews and sauces. Add a cube or two depending on your personal tastes.
If you are making pasta take a few cubes out the thaw before you start the pasta water, then toss with the pasta after it has been drained.


Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia Europe
thank you

Roses and Lilacs said...

Thanks for the recipe. I've never tried making pesto but it sounds easy.

Shibaguyz said...

We're definitely going to try your pesto recipe this week for dinner. Our basil is equally as prolific and we've been using it almost daily. Thanks for the recipe and we LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. A Victory Gardener after our own hearts! WOOHOO!!

eemilla said...

This is our first year gardening, and much of the impetuous was the thought of fresh homemade pesto. After some eperimenting, I have started adding lemon juice to slow the browning, but it is so hard to keep the pesto around longer than a day to see how effective it is. Additionally, the lemon juice gives a nice piquant note.

I look forward to reading future posts!

Affiliate Marketing Tips said...

This recipe sounds very delicious and healthy,just my style.

Robj98168 said...

Thanks for the recipe! I gre genovese basil this year and the flavor is malto bueno!

Darlene said...

I am new to making pesto, can you tell me what "just the right consistency" is?

Beth Molaro said...

Just "right" depends on what you are going to do with it..
If you want it to be spead-able, then a little thicker.. If you want to put it on pasta.. thinner for mixing in..