Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pesto & Pasta

We have a supply of basil in our garden this year thanks to apesto0814 (1) fellow “Y” member who donated some plants. We’ve been enjoying it in fresh tomato salads. And, there’s always  a few sprigs in a small bud jar on the kitchen counter.

Today, I harvested the basil, before it started developing seed heads, and made basil pesto that we enjoyed tonight over linguine.

It was delicious with a side salad — and so easy to make. Pasta is a great pairing with pesto. As the pesto is tossed into the hot cooked pasta, the heat brings out the fabulous flavors of the basil, garlic, and cheese. There’s also lots of other uses for pesto, like these:
  • Use in place of pizza sauce
  • Spread on on bruschetta
  • Make into vinaigrette
  • Stir into a chicken pasta salad
  • Tossed with veggies
  • Use as a garnish for soups
  • Add into pesto bread
  • Stir into quiche filling
  • Mix with mayonnaise for a Panini spread
Basil Pestopesto0814 (3)
  • 2 C packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C pine nuts (substitute walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice (helps to keep pesto turning brown on exposure to air)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan (or Pecorino) cheese
  1. Discard any flower buds, stems or leaves in bad shape. All you want are leaves; wash in a large bowl under cold water.
  2. Combine basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until mixed in and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.pesto0814 (2)
  3. Add remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Blend in the cheese unless you are freezing it — see NOTE below.
  • If freezing, omit cheese and add it when thawing and using pesto.
  • Add 1 tsp of sugar to perk up the pesto’s flavor. 
  • Pesto keeps in fridge for up to 1 week; frozen 3 to 6 months.
  • Freeze in ice cube trays. When it's frozen, just pop cubes out and put them into a freezer bag to use when needed.pesto0814 (5)
Since I plan to use the pesto leftover from tonight’s meal soon, this ice cube tray wasn’t needed today.


Country Gal said...

Sounds good I would like but Papa his palate is plain lol ! Thanks for sharing ! Weather and temps here have been fall like which is strange since August is our hottest month . But I am enjoying it as are Miggs and Harley ! Have a good day !

Montanagirl said...

I'm not sure my husband would go for this. LOL. Thank you for the info though.

Daisy said...

Linguine--Yum! :D

pembrokeshire lass said...

I think I might go out and buy some fresh basil and have a go at this as it seems easy to make and delicious to eat. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Joan

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The pesto sounds good. I keep a pot of basil near our chairs on the patio. It also helps to keep the flies away. I'd read about this and it has been working!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

YUM!!! I can smell the basil from here. I went to the farmers market last week and bought some basil... Nothing like it in the world. I am drying some now on racks in the dining room. The whole room smells like basil and dill as I got a whole bunch of dill too. I need to go back before the summer ends and get some more, its what I use in cooking all winter.
HOPE you are doing okay@

Out on the prairie said...

Made lots a few yuears back, but had to buy some the other day to put as a garnish on deviled eggs.

DeniseinVA said...

I have never tasted pesto and will make this recipe when we get home in a few weeks. Anything with basil in it we love the taste of.

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for all of the great ideas on how to use this flavorful herb

Ginnie said...

I have never made pesto but my daughter does and that trick of freezing in the ice cube tray is great. She's supplied me with hers and I love cooking with it. Thanks for all the info.

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