Last week we picked the first of our basil. I didn’t think the plants were really very big and so I wasn’t planning on cutting very much, but I came in with an overflowing bowl. We decided to make pesto for our pizza. We used the last of our frozen pesto a couple of months ago and pizza just isn’t the same with out it.
I picked 1/4 pound which doesn’t sound like much but was enough to make 4 batches of pesto. We’re well on our way to stocking our freezer for the year.
Pesto can be pretty expensive even when you make it yourself – a small bag of pine nuts sell here for $4 then add in the cost of olive oil and Parmesan and you’ve spent a pretty penny. Last year I tried making some of our batches with pecans instead of pine nuts. Guess what? No one could tell the difference. We gather our own pecans each year so that really cut the costs, but even if you had to buy the pecans they would be way cheaper than pine nuts.
Basil Pesto Recipe:
1 cup basil leaves – firmly packed
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4-5 cloves garlic (we really like garlic, feel free to use less)
2/3 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree. Best after it has been sitting for a day or so.
Store in jar in refrigerator for a week or so. For longer storage put pesto in ice cube trays and freeze. When completely frozen remove from ice cube trays and put in zip lock bag.
The air will make the pesto turn brown so make sure that there is some oil floating on top. The oil will rise to cover the pesto, but if you notice it turning put a little oil on top of it.
Enjoy it on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, with crackers, by itself etc.
WARNING: Beware of jumping blender jars. When I was about halfway done scooping the pesto out of my blender the jar just jumped right out of my hand and shattered on the floor. I had no idea blender jars could jump!
ps: There is no finished product picture because although basil pesto is so very yummy, it’s not so photgenic.