It’s that time of year – warm weather crops are coming to their peak, and that includes basil. Pesto is a versatile food to have around. I put it on cheese and crackers, pasta and rice. I also add it to salad dressing that I make with olive oil, soy sauce and garlic. It’s good right out of the jar on a spoon, too, and it freezes well. Now is the time to stock the freezer!
– 2 cups packed basil leaves
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1/3 cup walnuts (or pinon or nuts and seeds of your choice – cashews, pumpkin seeds – whatever you have on hand – experiment!)
– 3-4 cloves of garlic
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese – (I buy a block and grate it myself.)
I chop up the nuts and garlic, and put everything in the food processor except the basil to make sure they are not chunky. Add the basil, and whiz away! If it’s too watery, add more nuts or cheese. If it’s too thick, add more oil.
You can add chervil and/or parsley, too. Sometimes people make arugula or kale pesto. If you have greens, give it a try! Gardening and cooking are all about experimenting!
The whole recipe takes less than 30 minutes.
Pesto has the best flavor for about two weeks in the fridge. After that, it loses its edge. To freeze, put it in a quart freezer bag, and lay it flat in the freezer until it’s solid. Then you can stand it up like a book on a shelf. Save space that way. I have a plastic bin that I ‘shelve’ mine in. I do this with everything I freeze in baggies, like fruit and chiles, too.