Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Classic Pesto

One of the things I love about our CSA is that in addition to the designated vegetables for pickup, there's always a list of crops available for pick-your-own, including a large selection of herbs.  Their basil plants are huge, waist high, so it took no time at all to fill a big bag.  I had plans to make pesto, and if the basil is still good next week, I'll probably make more.  It freezes very well, and reminds you of August in February.

I confess I don't really measure for my pesto, so sometimes it's extra garlicky, or extra parmesany.

In a food processor, drop in roughly chopped garlic.  I used one large clove.  Run until finely minced.
Add in parmesan cheese.  I used about 3 ounces.  I rough chop to about 1/2 inch cubes first.  Run until shredded.
If you are using nuts, add at this step.  I've been out of pine nuts for about a year, so I did not.
Add basil leaves to food processor and run until mixture is finely chopped.
With the motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream until desired consistency is reached.

This whole big colander of basil leaves resulted in not a huge amount of pesto, because I kept the garlic and cheese to a minimum.  It's highly concentrated, though, so a little will go a long way.  And I can smell the amazing basil scent even through the haze of this cold.

After making the pesto, I left the scrapings in the food processor bowl and added about an ounce each of cream cheese and goat cheese.  A few more seconds running the processor to mix it all together, and I have a great spread for crackers.  Bonus!


  1. Looks great! I often line an ice cube tray w/ oil oil then fill each tray slot w/ pesto and freeze it. Once frozen i transfer them all into a ziplock freezer bag - each "cube" is perfect for throwing in a batch of quinoa or pasta salads, etc.

  2. @Jennifer Roy - I've heard that works very well! Depending on how much I have this year, I might have to give it a try. Certainly easier than trying to chip off a block of frozen pesto.

  3. I love the cheese spread bonus! Yay! I need to make/freeze some pesto before it's too late.


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