It was 44 degrees celsius here this week. That’s about 110 fahrenheit. That’s bloody hot. I mean, that’s too hot to move even when you’re inside with the AC on full swing. And let me tell you something: turning on the oven when it’s 110 degrees out is NOT an option. So you know what that means right? Yup, pesto.
In summer I pretty much exist on salads… green, pasta, egg, potato, whatever. As long as it’s cold it’s for me, and nothing crosses the salad borders quite as well as pesto. Lucky for me, the gardener at our local community garden seems to like me and gave me a massive basil plant this morning, so I hacked off the stalks, re-planted the root stump, and got to work on this pesto.
When I’ve got a batch of pesto in the fridge I put it on almost everything I consume. Seriously. It goes in an omelet for breakfast, on a toasty with chicken and mozzarella for lunch, it invades my pasta salad, gets draped over nicoise salads, stirred into heirloom tomato salads, and then usually eaten directly off a spoon by mid-afternoon. I like it alright?
And let’s not forget – all you need is a blender or mixer or mortar and pestle. And some ingredients
This is by no means a science either, just grab yourself 2-3 handfuls of basil…
Add a roughly chopped clove of fresh garlic (or half if you’re just not that into it)…
Toss in about 1/4 cup of lightly toasted pine nuts…
Grate a 1/2 cup or so of fresh parmesan into the mix…
And give it a whirl!
Slowly add your olive oil until the mix reaches a nice smooth consistency, but is still chock full of flavorful bits.
Serve it fresh or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long). I actually thinks it’s best left in the fridge for a few hours or a day to let the flavors combine properly. But, that takes patience so, um… just eat some now and save some for later.
Towards the end of summer I always make a big batch and freeze it into large ice-cube trays so I’ve got a stock pile for winter. It can’t hold a candle to the fresh stuff but it’s still pretty amazing on pasta or in soups.
How do you like to use your pesto??
Pine Nut & Basil Pesto
2-3 handfuls fresh basil
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1 fresh garlic clove
- Combine your basil, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until well minced.
- In 2-3 batches, or a steady stream, add your olive oil and pulse until smooth.
- Add your salt a pepper to taste
- Serve fresh on salads or sandwiches, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days