I decided I should make another batch of pesto before I get peaches and before the tomatoes start pouring in. Last year, I had to make swiss chard pesto (pretty good, but not as good as the basil variety) because the few basil plants I had flopped. This past winter, I told Jamey, "I want a whole row of basil in the garden." He obliged (thank you, honey) and as you can see below, I have lots of basil. I also have about 8 plants by my back door in a flower bed. To the right of the basil are our green beans and to the left, sweet potatoes.
I use the pesto recipe from the Simply in Season cookbook. Except, I add more salt, less olive oil and replace the pine nuts (I never have them and they are really expensive) with whatever nuts I have on hand. Today it was a combination of English walnuts from my grandmother and store bought pecans and almonds. Here are my three batches- each batch is the recipe times five. I had over half of a bushel of basil, ok?
I freeze most of the pesto in ice cube trays and pop them out into ziploc bags when they are frozen. The rest I freeze in small containers. If you are curious, this batch made the three ice cube trays, plus 7 more cups.
Pesto pizza is on the menu for tonight: wholewheat crust brushed with pesto and topped with fresh sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
If you live close to me and would like some basil, please call me. I barely made a dent in my row.
Pesto (Adapted from Simply in Season)
This recipe yields about 1 cup of pesto.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nuts (whatever you have on hand: pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc. or a combination)
3-6 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, processing small batches if needed. Adjust amount of olive oil as needed to obtain the consistency you prefer. Freeze in ice cube trays (described above) to preserve.