Monday, August 23, 2010


I grow basil because to buy it at the store is highway robbery and it never lasts.  But even more than that I grow basil for pesto!  I love pesto.  I especially love fresh pesto.  Store bought pesto is often good but too oily for my taste.  Fresh is better and I can then control the flavor and amounts of oil.  After my basil browning catastrophe a little bit back I only cut what I needed.  Even with proper cutting some of my basil turned brown just from the trimming.  Grrr.  I am however comforted that some long time gardeners/farmers also have trouble with basil and it's temperamental tendencies.  Read about it.  This time however I rinsed my basil just before using it in room temperature water a slight bit on the warm side and had great success.

I have followed recipes in the past but pesto is easy once you know what goes in it.  For the first couple of times it's good to read a few recipes and try them out to see what you like.  You can also make "pesto"by trading out basil and/or pine nuts and adding in other items, lots of fancy restaurants do this.  But for a simple classic pesto I use:
Lots of basil,  enough to fill the food processor
A handful of parmesan
A handful of pine nuts
1-2 garlic cloves depending on size
olive oil

Put everything but the oil into the food processor.  Turn it on and then stream in a little bit of oil.  I will even add in a little water (Gasp!) when it still needs to be thinned a bit more but I don't want to add in anymore fat.  I learned this trick from Cooking Light you just have to be careful not to more than 1-2TBS because it can quickly become too thin.  But don't leave the oil out, it helps give it the smooth consistency and rich flavor.  Once everything is blended I taste and decide if I need to add any more cheese, nuts or oil.  Its easy to add more but once you put too much of any ingredient in you are stuck.

No comments:

Post a Comment