After the birds stopped using my window boxes as their own personal feeding/nesting boxes, my plants have been doing extremely well. My basil has especially grown, which meant it was time for a good trim. Basil grows best when it cut back occasionally.
I decided to make pesto with the harvest. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces, especially when I am looking for something easy to throw on some pasta or gnocchi. It freezes well, so you can make a big batch of it and freeze what you don’t use. I make it in a food processor because it is extremely easy. You also could use a blender.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted // I toast them in a dry saute pan over medium-high heat. Keep them moving and watch them carefully because they only take a couple of minutes to burn. They will be light-medium brown when done.
- 1-2 cloves roughly chopped garlic // I like the basil to shine so I tend to only use 1 clove of garlic, but if you like a garlicy pesto you can use more
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or other hard cheese // I used pecorino romano because that’s what I had on hand
- Wash and dry your basil leaves.
- In the bowl of your food processor, place the pine nuts, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.
- Process for 15 seconds or until everything is roughly chopped. If the pine nuts are still warm, they might discolor the basil leaves slightly but this is fine.
- With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
- Add the cheese, and puree for a minute.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer with a little bit of olive oil on top. This will keep air out of the pesto which can ruin it.