Pass the Pesto: Use That Basil!

July 11, 2011

We planted mega basil plants this year, as discussed in my Spring into Gardening article, and wow are we reaping the benefits! I harvested three cups of large delicious basil leaves on Friday, and planned on making pesto sauce for our Pizza Fridays tradition. Of course the day eluded my attempts to make the dough in time so instead we had pasta with pesto sauce. Little Sweet Pea enjoyed the pasta (sans pesto) while AA and I stuffed ourselves with pesto. Here’s a variation on the theme of an Alice Water’s recipe that’s simple, easy, and delish. (If you aren’t familiar with Alice Waters, my cuisine hero!!!!, get familiar here.) 1) Ingredients. Basil leaves, as fresh as possible. We tripled the batch, but you really only need a cupful (pre-cutting or washing). Pine nuts, or brazil nuts, or a nut that’s oily. 1/4 cup of these in their whole form. Parmesan cheese. Save your tastebuds and don’t get the pre-grated as it’s just so much better if you grate it yourself just before use. 1/4 cup grated. Garlic clove. The real deal is best, and not the Spice World pre-diced stuff in a jar, or dried/jarred garlic in any form. 1 clove. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use the best stuff you can as it really makes a difference on the flavor. About a cup. Salt. A pinch. We use kosher salt or sea salt most often when cooking (flavor!). Just five ingredients and a pinch of salt and you’re all set.…

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