This is one of my favorite herbs. I love the smell, the taste and the beautiful bright green color. If you grow this in your garden, or if you know someone who does, now is the time to harvest it and make some green goodness.
This is one of the first plants in the garden to be effected by the cold. It does not like cold temperatures. So, to avoid the disappointment of going out to pick a bunch of basil and finding it all black and killed off (like I have before), pick it and make pesto.
I like to save at least one plant, to bring in the house. I know I am not going to be able to make a batch of pesto in the winter with just this one plant, but I like to pick a few leaves here and there and give it a good whiff, or throw it on a sandwich. It does make an attractive house plant too.
Back to making pesto. It is very easy and only takes a few ingredients. Freezing the pesto will allow you have this fresh and flavorful sauce all winter long.
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 C fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/4 C pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/3 C Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Wash basil leaves.
- Add olive oil, garlic and basil to food processor or blender. Push the leaves down firmly.
- Add remaining ingredients in the order listed and process. Pulse and scrape down side as needed to get it all blended thoroughly and to the desired texture.
|1/3 cup parmesan cheese|
|1/4 cup pine nuts|
|1 clove garlic chopped|
|1/4 tsp salt|
|Whiz up in the blender or food processor|
|Spoon pesto into ice cube trays|
|Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.|
|Once they are frozen, plop them out onto a plate.|
|Place the cubes in a labeled zip bag or glass jar and return to the freezer.|
Now you can have this flavorful, aromatic sauce year round. Just plop one or two of the frozen cubes into soups, pasta sauces, with freshly steamed vegetables, or spread on a mozzarella sandwich. YUM, YUM!
So, get out in your garden, or the local outdoor market and get some basil before it’s gone for the summer, and MAKE PESTO!
If you have a great recipe using pesto or basil, please share with us.