Friday, October 8, 2010

OK Andrew, Sorry this one took so long

First of all, yes, this is my own basil that I'm growing....not too shabby looking huh? Secondly, this is a request from my friend Andrew. He has done even better than me at growing his basil, and now needs something to do with it all before the frost starts. So, we are going to make a big batch of pesto, and then I'll tell you the best way to freeze it so you can eat fresh from the garden pesto 3 months after the garden is, sadly, no more.

First the first, the recipe:

4 cups of packed basil leaves
6 cloves of garlic, I like mine garlicky, if you don't, go down to four
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (dry pan, low heat, till lightly colored)
1 1/3 cups olive oil, use a good one
1 cup parmesan, or pecorino cheese, it comes out a bit different with each, but both are tasty
Salt and Pepper to taste

1)This is your basic recipe. Place basil, garlic, and nuts in food processor. Pulse until a nice, uniform, pasty consistency is formed.
2)Slowly, while processor is on, drizzle in 1 cup of the olive oil so it emulsifies. I don't like broken pesto, it looks like s&^t
3)Add cheese, and blend till smooth again.
4)Season to taste. Put into 8 oz deli containers and top each with remaining oil. Refridgerate or freeze depending on when you're going to use it.

Like I said, this is the basic recipe. A lot of the time, I'll add a serrano chile for a little spice. Or, you can take out the basil, and use cilantro....delicious on a piece of grilled fish. Or sub pecans for the pine nuts. Really, pesto is as much a technique as a recipe, so play around with the ingredients, just master the process.
Because, as the great Julia Child said

"Master a recipe, and you can eat for one night, learn a technique, and you'll eat every night"

Hope y'all enjoy...

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