Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Basil pesto

I am a big believer in enjoying food when it is in season rather than all year round. There are a few exceptions though - one of which is basil. Our whole family really likes pesto - even my son, who generally hates all vegetables etc. So every year I plant some basil and then the kitchen turns into a disaster zone as I make enough pesto to last us the whole year. Today I was inspired to do so after I made some pesto filled bread rolls with the last of last year's pesto. I can't remember which book I originally found the recipe in, but the recipe I use is great for freezing - a much more solid one than the really oily ones you can buy in jars here (for crazy prices....). I freeze it in glad-wrap filled muffin tins then put it into bags where it will last for well over a year.
For anyone with an excess of basil - try this recipe:
100g basil leaves (wiped if necessary, but not washed)
25 g pinenuts (I use walnuts.. much cheaper!)
2 cloves of garlic
125ml olive oil
Put into a blender and blend till smooth. It helps to put the basil leaves in in a few batches so the blender doesn't choke too much.
Freeze or use as soon as possible.
When you want to use it defrost and add about the same volume of Parmesan cheese as the pesto and additional olive oil if you want a runnier pesto.
You can also add a tomato to the pesto in the blender for a milder flavour.
For anyone who wants grow basil for pesto I really recommend the variety "lettuce leaf". It has much bigger leaves than Genovese etc. and therefore takes less time to prepare in the kitchen.

6 comments:

  1. Hello Jo
    I'm delurking to share in your love of basil pesto. If you haven't already, you might like to try this Delia Smith recipe for pesto rice salad. It's my go-to recipe for BBQs and potlucks.
    http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/party-food/accompaniment/pesto-rice-salad.html
    (This recipe calls for stock to cook the rice in, but I just use boiling water and add a wooden spoon-full of salt).
    The few Japanese people I've given it to have all loved it, too.

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  2. Oh yumm. I love pesto too Jo. And I have a good little amount of basil that I'm growing. Thank you for the recipe, I'll give it a try. Sounds delicious.

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  3. G & T4:43 PM

    What a coincidence. We were just ordering our seeds from Kings, last night, and decided we would try the 'lettuce leaf', variety. We didn't know anything about it - we now feel very confident... Thanks!

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  4. T & G4:47 PM

    What a coincidence. We were just ordering our seeds from Kings, last night, and decided we would try the 'lettuce leaf', variety. We didn't know anything about it - we now feel very confident... Thanks!

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  5. Anonymous9:17 AM

    I love basil, usually we liquidize all the basil leaves then add garlic and olive oil then put the mix in jars and put it in the freezer for future use

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  6. oh..thank you , thank you..I have been looking for a nice basil pesto recipe...!!!

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