One of the things that DB and I most look forward to making every summer is a huge batch of pesto. We freeze it and then dispense it out over the winter like little bits of summer to brighten our dreary days.
We use the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, with a few adjustments for personal preference.
The Brewer Family Pesto:
-2 cups basil leaves (sort of semi-tightly packed)
-1/3 cup pine nuts
-2 cloves garlic, minced (We sometimes add more; we love garlic)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup olive oil (this is roughly half the amount the Joy of Cooking calls for)
Coarsely chop the first 4 ingredient in a food processor. Then, with the machine running, add the olive oil and process into a coarse paste.
The Joy of Cooking says to wait to add the cheese and oil if you’re freezing it, but we don’t and have never had a problem.
We always double the recipe, which nets us about 3 x 6 ounce containers of pesto. Each container can dress a pound of pasta for reasonable people or 12 ounces of pasta for
us less reasonable people. Yesterday we made two double batches; the 6 containers plus the one we already made this season should be enough to get us through the winter. How much pesto can two people reasonably eat?!?
However, as we’ve already bought the pine nuts for another double batch, we’ll be making more pesto this weekend. The pine nuts are so expensive that there is no way on God’s green earth that we’re going to let them go to waste!
The hardest part of the whole process is stripping the leaves off enough basil plants to get the amount called for in the recipe. We usually just cut a ton of plants, bring ’em inside, and start picking leaves.
Luckily, the Littlest Brewster likes to help…
And here’s a picture of our haul.
The bounty of our basil bed preserved against the long, cold days ahead. I can’t wait to have a taste of summer when it’s 20 degrees and snowing!