Fresh Pesto Recipe
Our Basil Bumper Crop
When we lived in New Jersey, John always planted basil in the garden. We even had basil planted in a wash tub! Basil did well in the New Jersey weather, and we always had a bumper crop.
The first summer we were in Missouri, I bought six basil plants and planted them in the wash tub. We put the tub down below our patio and the plants did not do well. The plants did not grow, and I thought it was a bad omen saying that we could not grow one of our favorite herbs.
Thank goodness I was wrong! Last year in the spring, we bought six new plants and moved them next to our bedroom window. This area gets sun in the morning and shade in the hottest point of the afternoon. The basil flourished, and I am now on the 4th cutting.
I have a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law that love pesto, so I always make sure that I have pesto in the freezer. That way when they come visit, all I have to do take the frozen pesto out of the freezer, defrost it, cook up some pasta (I usually like bowties) and serve dinner. Pasta with pesto sauce is also great cold if you have leftovers.
Fresh Pesto Recipe: (Adapted from Joy of Cooking)
- 4 cups of basil leaves (lightly packed)
- 1/3 cup of pignoli nuts
- 2 garlic cloves or more (depends how much garlic you like)
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Put the basil leaves, pignoli nuts and garlic in the food processor bowl. You can also use a blender.
- With the food process running, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. The mixture should be a thick paste. (I like it a little looser, but I will add butter and a little pasta water to the pasta at the end.)
- If you are freezing the pesto add the parmesan cheese when you take it out of the freezer. I find the cheese will melt better when you put it on the pasta that day.
This is a very easy recipe to make and your family will enjoy it immensely. Serve it as a side dish with a grilled Heritage Breed pork chop, with a delicious steak or simply with a bowl of pasta and a piece of crunchy Italian Bread. Enjoy!