I finally learned how to grow basil! This summer was very productive and now that summer is almost over I’m trying to use/save all of my basil before it’s gone until next year…my tomatoes weren’t as lucky, they died in the extreme heat we had, I failed to water and protect them from the harsh summer weather…lesson learned.
Tonight I made pesto. Earlier in the week I harvested a lot of basil from our garden and safely kept it in the fridge until I had time to make something good. I kept it simple but still delicious.
- 3 Cups (packed) of fresh Basil
- 3/4-1 Cup of Toasted Pine Nuts
- 6-8 Cloves of Garlic, peeled (depends on your garlic taste)
- 3/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 TBSP of Salt
- (Optional but recommended): Lemon Zest
1. The first step is the blanch the basil in salted water. This keeps the pesto a brighter green and I think it makes the basil flavor stronger.
Only blanch them for 30 seconds and then immediately put the basil leaves in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking. Afterwards, squeeze and pat the leaves dry.
2. Once the leaves are dry add them and all of the ingredients into a food processor. Start with half of the garlic and olive oil.
3. Pulse the food processor until everything is combined.
4. Taste the mixture to see if it needs more garlic, olive oil, or salt. Add what you need and process the pesto until it’s the taste and consistency you like.
Side note: salt will help soften a harsh intense flavor if you have one overpowering the pesto (like garlic) & olive oil is a bitter taste so try to add as you go.
Then I had the end result. My first ever homemade pesto and it was a hit!