Thursday, August 15, 2013

Basil Pesto

It is past time for me to prune my basil, so I decided to use the trimmings to make pesto. We love basil; on pasta, in salads, on sandwiches, in caprese salads, and pesto mixed into mayonnaise for an extra little pop.  By the way, I'm always looking for new ways to try basil if you have any ideas!

The basil trimmings.  As you can see, my basil had started to flower.  Since I didn't want to add either the flowers or the stems to the pesto (I think it would make it bitter), I just plucked the leaves from the stems to make the pesto.

I made the whole batch of pesto in the food processor.  Here, I have Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic mixed up in the food processor. Then I add the basil, olive oil and salt and pepper and continue pulsing until the pesto was at a nice consistency.

The finished pesto.  It turns brown quickly, so I always store it in container with plastic wrap spread right over the surface of the pesto.

For part of this batch, I decided to make Pesto Chicken Salad.  Very easy; cooked penne pasta, some cooked chicken, quartered or halved cherry tomatoes and pesto.  Done!

Basil Pesto

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 - 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups basil leaves
Place nuts, garlic, cheese and salt in food processor.  Process til finely chopped.  Add basil and olive oil, process in long-ish pulses till it is the consistency you would like.

For pesto salad:

1/2 lb penne pasta, cooked, 1 cup pesto sauce, 2 cups chicken, 12 cherry tomatoes, halved.  Stir it all together! 

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