My basil plants are not that big this season, at least not yet, but I did manage to give my biggest plant an all over "haircut" and harvested enough leaves to make one batch of my favorite basil pesto so far. I usually make a batch of pesto and then freeze at least half of it in small plastic containers (recycled yogurt cups) to use later. It keeps very well in the freezer for quite a long time. My favorite way to enjoy it is on nice hot freshly boiled pasta. Bow tie pasta being my very favorite. I have also used it on pizza dough, sandwiches and in salad dressings.
Here's my favorite basil pesto recipe that I found long ago in the cookbook "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece & Rome" by Jeff Smith. I modified the recipe just a bit.
(recipe can be halved or quartered successfully if you don’t have 4 cups basil)
4 Cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, big stems removed ¼ Cup raw pine nuts, walnuts or almonds ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil, dark At least 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed, more if desired Season with black pepper or lemon pepper to taste ½ Cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese, or a blend of both
Put basil leaves in the food processor. Add the nuts, olive oil, garlic, and pepper seasoning. Process until all are chopped very fine and blended, but not really smooth. Remove pesto from processor and stir in the grated cheese. Serve on fresh hot pasta, in soups as a garnish, mix into mayo on sandwiches, salad dressings etc.
This recipe makes about 2 Cups of Pesto. Store it in the refrigerator for no more than a few days, covered. Freezes well and keeps for months in the freezer without losing taste. ************************
While I was in here last night blogging and boasting about how prolific zucchini can be, my zucchini plants were stealthily growing huge specimens for me to find amongst their big leaves this morning. I picked 3 large zukes totalling 3 1/4 pounds. I swear none of them were out there yesterday! Here come the zucchinis...
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