it's basil harvest time.......
and Mia is helping me locate the best of the crop for my all morning pesto making extravaganza
first i must snip off all the flowering tops
strip the leaves off all the stalks
wash in a sinkful of water and then dry well
load them into the food processor (mine is ancient but still works after 20 odd years!)
break off chunks of parmesan pick-axe style with the tip of a knife (be sure to use good reggiano parmesan)
and save the rind! (i like to throw them in when i'm making risotto as it imparts extra creaminess)
toss in the garlic and pine nuts (good lord, these are getting expensive........i wonder why?)
add a stream of olive oil (extra virgin) as you process the ingredients
remove the lid and admire the glorious goodness........take in the fragrance, ahhh.........
scrape pesto out with a rubber spatula.....
and portion into freezer bags
voila - my little soldiers all lined up and ready for storage!
trust me, there is nothing better on a cold snowy day than taking one of these out of the freezer, defrosting and melting into a bowl of steaming hot pasta -- it releases a burst of summer in the midst of the coldest winters.........
and Mia agrees heartily!!
Here is the recipe
buon appetito and happy pesto-making my friends!!
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste