What have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic? Back in August, my mother and I made a big batch of pesto. Pesto making is easy, fun and can be used all year long reminding you of the fresh days of summer.
Did you know there are many different types of basil. Genovese, Sicilian and Purple and Columnar. Genovese basil is pretty popular and likely the basil you normally see. Sicilian or Siracusa basil has a deep, sweet aroma with smaller leaves than genovese that are bright green. Purple basil is more aromatic and grow a little more slowly than other basil plants. Greek Columnar basil does not flower like other basil plants and it means it is more flavor packed and are produced over a longer season. It is great to grow in pots on decks and patios etc. Who taught me all this? My 78 year old mother…an amazing cook, baker or dare I say chef?! I have no idea if there are other basil plants but these are the ones I know.
Pick the leaves off stems Wash the basil Dry the leaves
What ingredients other than Basil do you need for Basil making??
Parmesan Cheese Lemon juice Garlic Good olive oil, salt and pepper and pine nuts
We don’t have exact measurements and simply mix all ingredients to taste…we had about 4 cups of basil, maybe 1/2 cup to 1 cup parmesan, 5 or 6 garlic cloves, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt and some black pepper. My mom tends to add a little lemon juice. It is absolutely delicious.
Process garlic Add some pepper Add Cleaned Basil Add some pinenuts Slowly add oil
The last steps, include putting the finished product into ice cube trays and to freeze and then popping them out of the trays. Each cube can then be individually wrapped and frozen til needed.
Put in cubes and freeze Put in freezer bags
We use pesto all year round and it is so versatile and flavorful. I use it in my pasta sauce and at times make pasta with pesto. I spread it on chicken breasts and the list goes on…
Hope you enjoy pesto as much as I do….