Summertime all the time

Talk about role reversal! Last year my vegetable garden flourished and nearly buried me alive with produce while my herb garden waned and struggled.  Now this year, my vegetable garden is dying a slow and painful death and my herbs are crowding and spilling over from their allotted space into the flower garden that borders them.  I guess it's too much to ask to have two green thumbs at once. 

I've already harvested once from my basil plant and not even two weeks later, it's time to harvest again.  The most obvious thing to make with fresh basil, of course, is pesto.  Quick and easy with only a few quality ingredients, pesto can be made ahead and frozen so it's a great way to get that burst of fresh summertime flavor long after the season has passed. 

I purchased a couple of plastic ice cube trays from Dollar Tree which made perfect portion sizes for the pesto.  Once they are frozen, the pesto cubes pop right out of the trays and can be transferred to a freezer storage bag.

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
Yield: Approximately 1 cup.

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 or walnuts (I used walnuts and toasted them just a bit)
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

At this point, you can portion the pesto into desired containers and freeze. 


Terri said...

Take solace in the fact that everyone's garden is suffering (dying) from the heat. Even my basil has more flowers than leaves. I guess I'll start my fall Aerogarden early. :(


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