Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More Fun with Basil

Mindy here, and my basil plant has been growing like crazy. So I asked myself, "What are you going to do with all that basil?" I mean, I can't eat bruschetta every day.

Or can I?


No, I can't. Too much bread.

So I'm at the grocery the other day, reaching for a jar of pesto when it hit me. I could make my own pesto.

I came home and harvested a good bunch of the leaves. I needed two "packed" cups. I soaked them in water for a few minutes to kill anything that might have decided to take up residence on the plant. Flash flood. They never knew what hit them.

Then I strained and rinsed a couple more times before throwing them into my salad spinner to eek out all the water. This worked wonderfully, I might add.

Now for the rest of the ingredients.

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (love these things)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor. Doesn't this look pretty?

Pulse until coarsely chopped.

Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I wish you could smell this.

Now if I were using this right away, I'd add the rest of the oil and 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesean cheese. But since this is for later, I put it into an air-tight container, drizzle the remaining oil over the top and put it in the freezer. It'll keep for up to three months. Great for those quickie meals. When I'm ready to use it, I simply thaw, stir in the freshly grated cheese, and toss with some warm pasta. Maybe top with some chicken breast or shrimp, tomatoes, a few capers....

Easy peasy.

And good for you, too.

Don't you just love summer and all the fresh fruits and veggies? I especially like when I can pick it right from my backyard. Which is limited, but farmer's markets are the next best thing.

What's your favorite way to use fresh basil?


  1. Oh my stars, I had no idea making pesto was that easy.

    Mindy, you have taught me. Who knew???? And I love anything that can be kept in the freezer for those quick "grab me!!!" meals. Thank you for this!

    1. Writers can never have enough "grab me" meals. One of these days I'm going to get my act together and just take a day for cooking that will git 'er done for the whole week. Of course, I have to find that day first:-)

  2. I vote for bruschetta every day!! Woo hoo!

    Or pesto is fine as well. :)

    Now I'm going back to read tips from the day we discussed growing herbs. That's some gorgeous basil! Why didn't my plant ever produce that much??

    1. Okay, we'll have pesto AND bruschetta. Works for me. And a meal that Kav would enjoy:-)

      Did your basil plant get plenty of sun? They seem to like that.

  3. Mmmmm....this looks good. I don't have a food whatsit though so I bet it would be hard to do without. You've jogged my memory though. I've made this yummy cold pasta salad in the past with fresh picked tomatoes, basil, garlic and some other ingredients that escape my memory right now. You toss in whatever pasta you want -- I like spelt or ww shells -- and voila, instant incredibly delicious cold salad. So satisfying. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Now I'll have to go home and see if I still have the recipe.

    1. That does sound good, Kave. But then, with those ingredients, it's hard to go wrong :-)

    2. Oh, I agree... I'm hungry, and that sounds easy and lovely to go with my leftover brisket... Which is calling my name as we speak!

      I... Love....Brisket.

  4. I'm with Missy - bruschetta every day sounds fabulous...

    But I love pesto, too! I'm saving this post for when I have a garden again :)

    1. Jan, you'll have that garden. I hope you've discovered a good farmer's market in the mean time.

    2. Keep sellin' them thar books, honey.

      The dirt will come.

  5. I'm wondering the same thing as Kav...I don't have a food processer. Can you use a blender?