What to do with all of that basil?

Presto, PESTO!! This easy, delicious concoction can be used in an array of dishes. Add to some mayo for a yummy addition to your sandwiches. Toss with pasta or add to grilled veggies, fish or meat. It freezes beautifully so when winter comes and you want to remember the aromas of summer, defrost and presto, pesto!

Pesto
1 large bunch fresh basil (about 3-4 cups), leaves trimmed and washed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
approx 3/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, gently pulse basil, garlic, lemon zest, juice and cheese until roughly chopped. In a slow, steady stream, add olive oil while processor is on. add enough oil to make a nice, loose sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Jar or freeze.

FYI: This recipe is nut free. If you prefer a nuttier pesto, add 1 cup of lightly toasted pine nuts/blanched almonds or walnuts to the first step. Just be sure they are unsalted. Try adding a few pitted olives or sun dried tomatoes to the mix for variety! Enjoy!

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5 Responses to What to do with all of that basil?

  1. Lori says:

    Some other suggestions for basil:

    Pesto Vinaigrette. Here is a recipe from epicurious.com
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pesto-Vinaigrette-101085

    Tapenade from the Silver Palate Cookbook
    http://www.food.com/recipe/tapenade-from-the-silver-palate-cookbook-177249

  2. You can also chop some pesto & fresh garlic cloves and mix them into olive oil. Place 2 TBS. of this mix into each cup of an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, pop out the basil\garlic oil cubes and place in a freezer bag to store in your freezer. This way, each time you want to saute something that would be enhanced by the aromatic flavor of basil & garlic, PRESTO! Pop one of these cubes into the pan and saute away! (Same idea can be used for all sorts of fresh herbs and spices, and if you haven’t been able to use up your leeks or onions, you can also slice or chop them and add to olive oil and freeze.) Happy cooking, folks. :o) Bea

  3. Laurie says:

    Great tip: a blender blade and screw top will fit on a pint or quart canning jar. I put basil and mayo in the jar and blend until the mayo is a beautiful light shade of green.

    It makes a BLT luscious and a plain old turkey sandwich, supreme.

  4. jaq says:

    I’ve been freezing my pesto into ice cube sized blocks. I take out however many I need the morning of the day I plan to use it. Sometimes i leave the cheese out and add it fresh when we’re ready to have it. I’m happily well stocked!

  5. Julia says:

    My mom usually makes a LOT of pesto sauce all at once, and then freezes them in ziploc bags.That way, she can defrost one bag at a time. After that, she boils pasta and mixes it with the heated pesto. Try it!

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