How do you all feel about gardening? I mostly love it. There is something so satisfying about growing the things you eat. It can also sometimes feel like too much work though. The best part about growing herbs is that they require so little tending for the most part. They add SO much to food too, so you get a lot for a little effort. This homemade pesto for example….
This year I went to a plant sale with my friend Christine and went a bit overboard, I have 3 kinds of basil, cilantro, parsley, lemongrass, oregano, sage, bay leaves, rosemary, 2 kinds of mint, and a curry plant I have never seen or used before growing in my yard.
If you have out of control basil, like I do, a fantastic and quick way to use up tons of basil is to make homemade pesto sauce. It takes 5 minutes and is incredibly delicious. We keep it in the freezer and just take out portions as we want them. You can freeze blocks in ice cube trays to make it really easy. I was too lazy to do that though so I just slightly defrost my big block and pry some off. 🙂 My kids eat it on pasta and on fresh mozzarella. I use it on salads and sandwiches. It is really versatile.
Another reason I love pesto is that you can make it with what you’ve got around. If you don’t have pine nuts, use almonds or today I used walnuts. I toast my nuts and cool before grinding them and I think that adds more flavor. If you don’t have basil you can make it with arugula or parsley or any green herb and it always tastes great.
- 2 cups fresh basil, packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup toasted nuts (pine, almond, walnut etc)
- juice from 1/2 -1 lemons to taste
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Toast the nuts a bit until fragrant and let cool.
- Add the garlic and nuts to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add lemon juice and basil and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the oil and salt and process briefly again. You still want to see the basil bits, not fully blended. Add in the parmesan and pulse a few times.
- Taste the seasoning and add more salt or lemon if needed. Put into a jar and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep it from turning brown.
- Store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.