Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pesto, Pesto, and more Pesto!

Some of you may have wondered where did we get the blog name "Stop and Smell the Basil." Well, when Shirlie and I were bouncing back and forth names we discussed our favorite herbs. Mine is basil. In fact, the reason mine is basil is because years ago I became addicted to pesto. I put it in everything! It is just such a great way to incorporate fresh herbs into all kinds of dishes.

Usually, I just make fresh pesto each week in the summer and then before the first frost of the fall I harvest all my basil to make pesto to freeze for use over the winter. However, then past week there was a deal at the farmer's market I just couldn't pass up... 3 bunches for $5. When I saw the sign I thought "oh sure, I'll pick up the bunches on my way out." When I was ready to leave the market I gave the vendor my $5, grabbed the first bunch of basil and was like "holly cow, this is the best deal of the day." The bunches of basil were enormous! This is what my three bunches looked like:

So, of course I drove home and promtly set out to make a ton of basil. Usually I just throw the ingredients together in the food processor and go. But this time I decided to write down the recipe to post here so it took me a little extra time to actually measure the ingredients.

At my house we put it in everything... spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, over pasta, salad dressings, various appitizers. In fact, tonight I made phyllo trianges with a combination of pesto, goat cheese, and roasted cherry tomatoes... Delish. I make lots of pesto during the summer and save it in little Dixie cups like this...

Pop the little cups in the freezer and once frozen put them in a big freezer bag. Then, you have delicious homemade pesto all year round. Luckily for me, this deal on basil happened the very week that I used up my last pesto cup from last summer's harvest... I think it was meant to be!


4 cups packed basil, washed and spun dry
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teas. salt
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Place basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt in food processor. Process for 15 seconds.
2. While the food processor is running, stream in the olive oil.
3. After you add on the oil, turn off machine and scape down sides.
4. Process for an additional 20 seconds.
5. Place in tupperware to keep in fridge, or put in dixie cups to freeze.

** Some people also freeze pesto in ice trays. That also works fine.. I just don't have ice trays so I use Dixie Cups.

** To use as a pasta sauce on pasta... 2 small dixie cups is enough for 1 pound of pasta. Combine with cooked pasta, toss in 2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese, and a ladle full of pasta cooking water. Add salt and pepper to taste.


April said...

I have a ton of basil and have been thinking about doing this same thing. Thanks for the inspiration!

The DeLadurantey Sisters said...

You have me drooling! I love basil!

Anonymous said...

No parmesan cheese?

Erin said...

Anonymous... You are right! I do not add the cheese if I am going to freeze the pesto. I add freshly grated cheese right when I am tossing it with the pasta.