The Sweet Smell of Pesto

July 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Posted by Katharine

Pesto is incredibly easy to make and perfect for this time of the year. Not only have our basil and parsley plants grown substantially but it’s too hot for complicated cooking. By throwing a few basic ingredients in the food processor you create an incredibly flavourful addition to pasta, bruschetta, sandwiches, pizza and hors d’ouevres. Today, within half an hour, I had picked the herbs, blended them and used the pesto in a sandwich with some local tomatoes. So good! I can’t wait until our garden produces its own tomatoes and my diet starts to revolve around these two foods.

Here is a really great pesto recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen’s “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest,” 1982:

Makes approximately 1 cup of Pesto

  • 2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves (remove stems)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup crushed almonds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • ground pepper and salt to taste

Puree all the ingredients into a food processor until you have a uniform paste and voila! If you don’t own a food processor you can use a blender with a steel blade.

This is an easy recipe for experimentation. See what flavours you prefer and adapt portions to suit. Instead of pine nuts I used almonds as the original recipe simply listed “nuts” and I prefer the latter. And be warned, unless you are a garlic fanatic I would stick with 2 cloves and see how it tastes before adding more, I found it got potent very quickly and you don’t want it to overpower the herbs. If you have a large supply of basil you can always make a larger batch and freeze it for later.

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