Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Psst--Make Me Please Pesto

As I was rushing around yesterday--to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker (O.K., I really went to Hobby Lobby where all candles were 50% off)--my basil called out to me.  "Please, harvest me before I turn bitter.  Take this perfect opportunity to turn me into pesto for the freezer."  That's what I heard as I passed it coming in from the garage.  So, I grabbed the kitchen scissors and lopped off the still tasty green leaves, added some garlic, walnuts and olive oil and ended up with a cupful for the freezer.  It will actually make almost two cups when I add the parmesan just before using.  I've found that adding it before freezing causes a separation in the sauce that, while not harming the taste, doesn't look very appetizing.




Here's my recipe for pesto--a variation of a number of recipes that I've tried over the years.  Truth be told, I don't even measure any more.  



BASIL PESTO

3 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
1 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse the garlic and nuts a few times.  Add the basil and process until well chopped together.  If you are going to use the pesto within a few days, add the cheese now.  If you plan to freeze the pesto, add the cheese when you have defrosted and are ready to use.  With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until the consistency you desire.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY

28 comments:

  1. Sounds delish! Thanks for sharing. Getting settled in and back to blogging. It's been a while. Thanks for hanging with me!

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  2. you do such a great job photographing your food and canning things. i like that matt underneat the jar and also the jar.

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  3. It will soon be time to make pesto here as well -- it's summer in the freezer more than anythng else I think!

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  4. I have been dubbed the Queen of pesto, not because mine is the best by any means but because I use it in many, many dishes as well as use ingredients other than basil. I love your recipe!

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  5. Adding cheese after defrosting is a good tip. I always feel I'm set for impromptu dinners when I have pesto in the freezer.

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  6. There is nothing that compares to opening a jar of homemade frozen pesto in the middle of winter!

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  7. Pretty much how I do it too. Last weekend, we made pesto and also cilantro pesto. I make basil pesto all the time, but this was the first time I had done it with cilantro, and let me tell you, it was TO DIE FOR good!!! Try it, if you haven't. Made same way, but I didn't add any nuts to the cilantro. You could, of course. Lovely!

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  8. Bonnie...great tip on adding the cheese last. I too...pretty much stopped measuring. I only started disciplining myself to do so since I started recording for the blog ;o)
    Great pesto...mmmmum

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  9. this looks great and i LOVE your blog header photo!

    anne
    www.anniebakes.net

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  10. Thanks for the reminder! I need to make some pesto this weekend since mine keeps insisting on trying to flower this time of year and it's getting to be a pain keeping the ends snipped off. I've never tried making it with walnuts before - your recipe sounds delicious.

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  11. I love the tip about freezing without cheese. I'll have to try that. I hope the visit is going well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. What a great tip about freezing it without the parmesan! You have an herb garden?

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  13. Great recipe, Bonnie... What do you all like to put pesto on??? I've used it on pasta, on pizza, even on some meats before grilling... It's SO good....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  14. I see you've "met" my friend Bonnie! Whose son met JK! She is the one I took the tea too!

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  15. Thanks for the tip about adding the cheese later. I have never tried that. Carla

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  16. Ooh, I love pesto. And I just finished trimming the sweet basil!
    Brenda

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  17. That sounds (and looks!) wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  18. Pesto is somethign that I always have in the freezer so that I can taste summer in the depths of winter! Great recipe.

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  19. My basil is so beautiful this summer; I made and froze basil twice; I make mine with Pine nuts, but I am sure it is great with walnuts; must try,

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  20. Thanks for reminding me that my basil needs attention. Mine must not be calling to me loud enough, or I'm just not paying attention! Good tip about not adding the parmesan! Thanks!

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  21. Summer's coming to a close... basil harvested, days getting shorter, touch of coolness in the air...

    That pesto sounds so good... and it will bring back the taste of summer long after summer's gone.

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  22. I am so relieved!!! I thought I was crazy because I could hear food calling my name, begging to be relocated to my tummy. You hear plants! Yay for voices!

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  23. I love homemade pesto. I always have to use pine nuts, though, as my husband and daughter are allergic to walnuts. Unfortunately, pine nuts are almost $20 a pound where I live, so I can only buy them in VERY small amounts.

    I love to use pesto as a spread on a sandwich.

    Have a lovely evening,
    Patti

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  24. I need to make several batches of pesto to freeze for the colder months. Basil gets so expensive. Thanks for reminding me about how much I love this stuff!

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  25. Nothing better than a freshly made pesto.

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  26. I've got tons of basil just waiting to be harvested! Thanks for reminding me that it can turn bitter. I'm going to turn it into pesto this weekend!

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I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.