I have managed to keep 3 big basil plants alive throughout the winter. I went to see them today and they were starting to seed, I needed to pinch them and I was hungry and they were big...... so it was Pesto time!!!
I really like Pesto, I am surprised I do not make it more often as it is quite easy to make if you have the ingredients on hand. If you are a food lover like me, you probably will have Pesto ingredients in your fridge: Basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, some type of nuts and salt. The original pesto is made with pine nuts (those I do not normally have and they can be quite expensive), but you can make pesto out of every nut. Each one will give your pesto a subtle change in taste. Today I made it with sunflower seeds and it was delicious. The walnut version is also quite tasty.
So here is the recipe:
- Bunch of Basil leaves (no stalks)
- Half a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used my home infused garlic olive oil)
- 2 or 3 fresh garlic cloves or 6 preserved garlic cloves (see my recipe here)
- Half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup of nuts (pine nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pistachios...)
- Salt to taste
You can do pesto on your blender or on your electric chopper.
I like mine quite thick as I like to use it as a spread and it uses less oil (so I think it is better for me).
Once you are done, put the pesto on an airtight container, you can use it right away or store for up to a week in the refrigerator. When you store it, a thin layer on the top of your pesto will darken a little, that is OK, just mix it all up with a spoon and you are good to go.
Pesto is great with pastas. I used it today as a topping on my spaghetti marinara. We also had pizza night and I spread pesto all over my slices! Remember, pesto is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way.