The one thing always growing in our garden during the summer is basil. We grow several different varieties of basil; sweet, large leaf Italian, and genovese. One thing we like to do with all our basil is make pesto. Pesto can be used on a variety of things: pasta, burgers, tuna, sandwiches, etc. We make enough throughout the summer to keep us supplied until next summer.
The basil plants are ready to cut.
There are endless recipes for basil pesto, this is one we like.
2 cups basil leaves (washed and spun dry in a salad spinner)
6 garlic cloves
1/2-3/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp. almonds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
This recipe is for one batch of pesto that yields approximately 3/4 of a cup. Today we had enough leaves to make approximately 9 cups of pesto!
Below are the steps to creating this pesto recipe.
We first remove all the good leaves from the basil plants and then wash the leaves to remove any dirt and insects. We then use a salad spinner to remove the excess water from the basil leaves.
Then we add the almonds, oil, and garlic to the food processor. We puree the almonds, oil and garlic before adding the other ingredients so that the almonds become more finely chopped. Otherwise, the almonds will be much larger (which is a matter of personal preference).
Next we add the basil leaves, lemon juice, and salt. We then run the processor until all of the basil leaves are finely minced.
We then placed our pesto into freezer bags. We put approximately one cup of pesto in pint size freezer bags and carefully pressed the air from the bag before sealing them.
In a few more weeks these plants will be ready to trim again.