Thursday, February 10, 2011

God Bless Basil

I'm a Basil lover from waaaay back. I however had never made pesto until this year as my crop of Basil just keeps on giving.  I've made 4 batches this year, and I cannot think of anything better to have on a warm summer's evening than a big plate of Spelt Pasta smothered in spicy, garlicy, pesto mixed with a bit of cream.
How do you make yours? This is the gist for mine...

Amy's Pesto:
Massive bunch of basil leaves
a few good sized hunks of Pecorino or Grana Panado Cheese
a good sized packet of pine nuts - toasted and still warm
a few lashings of good quality Olive Oil
2 gigantic cloves of garlic - grated in

Squash the basil leaves and the grated garlic into a small food processor - add about 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and start blitzing it. It should be thick. Continually add Olive Oil until a firm smoothy consistency appears. Add the pinenuts (still warm) and chunks of Pecorino. Blitz until a thick consistency, but not runny.  If a bit runny - add more Pecorino.  
Eat everywhere possible: pasta, on fritatta, on Scrambled eggs, on crackers, on sandwiches and wraps. 

We've also been Blackberry picking. My very favourite berry. Oh how I love late summer.
Funny thing is that we're out there enjoying the fruits of the prickly canes and husby is out there whacking them down with his slasher.

What do you do with your pesto - how do you make yours?



Fiona said...

I'm thinking of adopting you!
That banana cake is beyond description as the most delightfully moist flavoursome cake I've ever eaten.
And now as a Pesto-making-virgin I salute you. I have a garden overflowing with basil and no idea what to do with it.
I did find a beautiful recipe from Julie Goodwin of Masterchef fame which included cashews, parmesan and garlic which I'll give a go this week. Will report back!

Sarah said...

OH that looks delicious!

Tanya said...

well, you have certainly helped me decide what to have for lunch. basil and garlic from the farm, have got pine nuts, olive oil and hopefully some nice cheese. That's pretty similar to how I make mine. Yummo!

dixiebelle said...

Oh yes, home made pesto is DIVINE! I first had real pesto on pasta as a highschool student at a friends party, where her father was a chef (I think) and *fell in love*... it could have been my first lure into gourmet food, actually? Then, in uni, I would cut down my Dad's overgrown basil plants, in my holidays, make loads of pesto and take it back to uni with me, to eat all semester long. (I am sure my roommates loaved that!)

My basil is getting big out there now, must be time for pesto! And yes, you must toast the pine nuts, though alot of recipes don't... I think it makes it so much better!