Herbs Deserve..

“Herbs deserve to be used much more liberally”- Y. Ottolenghi

It’s kind of a long story, but I ended up with some fresh basil. A lot of fresh basil. I had picked it up for a recipe that I had not read through very carefully (surprise) and regretted to note that it called for a “garnish of fresh basil leaves”. Instead, I brought home a bushel, as in a few shrubs of fresh basil leaves. Fresh herbs don’t keep well and basil doesn’t like to be refrigerated (which is why I can never find it with all of the other green sprigs). Basil likes to reside in the tomato isle, next to the very vine-ripened tomatoes it compliments so well.

This long story ends well. That fresh basil, the basil that I over shot on, it was pulverised with some garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan and lemon. What resulted was the tastiest pesto that I have ever had. I totally winged the recipe but wouldn’t change a thing if (I mean when) I make it again. Best part is that it was so simple to make, my food processor did all of the work. It was a very happy mistake that provided a very tasty supper.

Pesto in general is the bomb and is one of the most versatile sauces to keep around your kitchen. Some ways to use it include…

  • Tossing a little on some cooked pasta (with a cherry tomato or five)
  • Mixing with a little heavy cream or even cream cheese for an even more decadent pasta topper
  • Use on pizza instead of boring old pizza sauce
  • Marinade chicken or fish prior to baking or barbecuing (with some lemon…nom nom nom)
  • Mixed with mayo, pesto can take your sandwich or panini to new heights
  • Pesto is even delicious in am omlette!
  • I am sure this list can go on and on….

Recipe and pics below!

Basil Pesto
  •  ~3 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup (whatever you got) pine nuts that you have toasted. To toast them brown on medium heat in a dry frying pan tossing often until they are a light golden brown.
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated fresh parm
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • ~1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil…or more to thin out sauce depending upon the consistency you are looking for.

In a food processor, combine garlic and pine nuts and blend until paste forms. Add lemon juice and add basil leaves through the top a few at a time. Continue to blend until combined. Add parm and slowly add oil until consistency preference is reached. Spoon into jar and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

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