This morning when I went into my garden, I realized that it was time to start harvesting my basil. While it should survive in it’s pot, with the weather starting to get much hotter, there is no guarantees! My plant is way to big to bring inside. So I am going to place it in the shade and baby it. Still, I want to make sure we have enough pesto to get us through to September.
So I went out and got a big bowl of basil. This is about 2 cups packed. Maybe a little more. And yes, that is how much you need to get a cup of pesto. That is why, if you want to have decent pesto, you need to grow your own basil. This only a wee bit of what I have in the garden, and I am just a start to my pesto making. LOL! I do love homemade pesto though. It’s less acidic and salty than what you get in the store.
1/2 head garlic
1 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel away paper skin to thin layer or 2 surrounding the cloves. Place in small ovenproof dish; drizzle top with some of the olive oil.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Watch to make sure it doesn’t burn. A lot of recipes say to bake it for an hour. My oven must be super hot. When I did that, I ended up with charcoal. Allow garlic to cool. While the garlic is cooling, toast pine nuts in a small, dry fry pan.
Put the basil into the food processor. I know it looks like a lot, but it is going to get chopped up real small. Add pine nuts and olive oil. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin onto the basil. Pulse until the basil and other ingredients form a paste. This will take a few minutes.
Add the Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Pulse some more. If you want to make this vegan, leave out the Parmesan cheese and add an additional 2 Tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Taste the pesto to see how salty it is. This is when I would add salt. You never know with cheese. You can add the pepper here too. Here is what this looks like!
Now see what you can use this with,