Friday, August 26, 2016

Making pesto


Several days ago my friend Kathy visited for the first time in over a month.  She wanted to go shopping, so who was I to argue with that notion!  However, I have not removed the photos from my camera, so you will have to settle for these photos I took last Sunday when my friend and neighbor Sally and I made pesto.

I needed a way

to use

some of those basil leaves, so Sally and I made a plan.

I supplied the recipe, the olive oil, the sea salt, and the basil leaves.  Sally supplied the garlic, the pine nuts, and all the tools and equipment, including her kitchen.

Before we begin, I'll share the recipe with you.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
Sea salt to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor or blender

We began with Sally working on the garlic, while I cleaned and packed the basil.  I'm not sure what it is about Sally's kitchen, but everything reads warm and yellow, and I am unable to color correct the photos in PS.


I assure you

this is NOT how I would prepare the garlic.

This is one cup of basil leaves, and I fear I have underestimated how much basil I needed.

Eventually, I got the second cup and Sally decided to use the blender instead of the food processor, since I had read somewhere that the blender chopped everything finer.  Unfortunately the blender didn't want to blend.  Here the pine nuts have been added to the basil.

Next came the garlic.

At this point I wanted to start over using the food processor, but Sally was very persistent.

Next it was time to slowly add the EVOO.

which Sally did.

After adding the sea salt, it was nearly ready to go in the freezer.  The recipe called for 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, but warned to omit the cheese if freezing, which we were.  Once frozen, then defrosted, the cheese could be safely added.

The recipe also indicated that the pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store, the recipe suggested to cover it tightly with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touched the top of the pesto. That way the pesto has no contact with air. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.

We made three different types of basil pesto: purple ruffled, sweet, and genovese, possibly the best basil for pesto.   I have three other types, but didn't use them.  I have so much basil, I will never get rid of all of it.

Thanks for joining my friend Sally and me today as I took you along while we made pesto.  I know this isn't a cooking blog, but we had a great deal of fun creating this treat from the garden. 

20 thoughtful remarks:

chrissie said...

Sounds delicious and apart from pine nuts I'm good to go. Our basil plant needs to be trimmed back before it takes over the conservatory so it will be a good way to use some of the leaves.

Thank you for the recipe

Love Chrissie xx

Blogoratti said...

Looks great indeed, thanks for sharing. Warm greetings!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh yummie!
What a coincidence that I made lemon basil pesto with sunflowerseeds yesterday, but just a little amount with an immersion blender - I made a bigger jar of basil pesto last year and since we used it not within a short time it got bad after 4 weeks in the fridge what annoyed me - so I decided to make just a bit when I need it. I can't imagine that with such an amount of garlic in it it got bad??!
But it did. Maybe daughter went in with an unclean spoon?! No idea what else could made it bad so fast?!

I would love to smell the photos Elizabeth! Maybe you can work with a fragrance app in future???!!! please!
Happy weekend
oxo Susi

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks great, I can almost smell it from here. Good way to use up the basil. Glad you girls had a fun day, hugs, Valerie

My name is Erika. said...

The smell of basil is wonderful-I bet the kitchen had a great smell as you made the pesto. Your garden looks like it was really productive. Mine too-which is surprising considering we are in drought. Except for cucumbers, everything is growing like I'm in the rain forest. I didn't think of making pesto to freeze-excellent way to use you some of that basil. Hope all is well and you have a good day! Hugs-Erika

~*~Patty S said...

Your basil plants and all of your herb garden looks so lush and inviting. The purple leaf basil is especially pretty.
It is such fun to make pesto (haven't done it in awhile).
That elephant garlic looks bodacious too.
I can almost smell the yummy goodness from here.
Your photos are fun and you did really well recording the steps E!
Happy beginning of the weekend.
Time to enjoy some pasta and pesto ;-) oxo

Jeanie said...

I adore pesto and when I get home, have quite a bit of basil to either dry or pest! Our recipes are very similar but I use a bit of lemon juice in place of as much oil (though I do it by eye in either case!) and if I don't have pine nuts will use walnuts and both are good! Enjoy -- you have me hungry!

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by the Gypsy! (I didn't dare show the close-up!)

Linda Kunsman said...

beautiful basil plants! Our neighbors planted 4 and for the first time the basil just didn't grow and withered away-too much HOT sun perhaps. So I have had to buy basil plants to make pesto. Love the team effort you and Sallie made-the pesto will be especially welcome when basil season is long gone.
I have made pesto with toasted walnuts instead of pine nuts, and have used variations of ingredients like peas,spinach, tarragon, lemon.... all SO good! Thanks for sharing your version:)

Divers and Sundry said...

I don't have a food processor or a blender, so I'll just have to enjoy your experience. But I'm enjoying that :) Your basil looks so pretty out there. I think I'll definitely have to get some for my patio next year. I'm missing out. The color is great!

Pamela Gerard said...

Pesto -- bring it on! i love it. I like to partly cook ravioli and then saute it in a frying pan with pine nuts and
maybe some diced pancetta and then toss it with pesto! YUM. I wish I had too much basil. Doesn't grow here in SF -- not enough sun and too cold....but the farmers markets have it.....

~*~Patty S said...

Hello it's me again.
Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways E ♥
Today it happened to be making pesto :-)
I was drooling over your post and nice photos first thing this morning.
When I cleaned out the fridge today I found some pine nuts.
It's scorching hot again so cutting back our basil outside was also perfect timing.
I used your recipe throwing in an extra clove of garlic.
Now my face is shining too.
Long ago an Italian lady told me that in Italy they use olive oil to moisturize their skin. You know how the oil gets around when cleaning up so I put some to good use on my face.
Pesto and parmesan raviolini it will be for dinner tonight.
Thanks again oxo

Meggymay said...

It must have been a special day for you both making pesto together, what fun.
Now I can almost taste your fresh pesto over some pasta with a sprinkle of cheese.
Enjoy
Yvonne xx

Carol said...

Bet the kitchen smelled amazing :) I need to do something with some of my basil too. I was thinking along the line of just chopping and freezing for use latter. Husband doesn't care much for pesto but I use bail a lot in cooking :)

Krisha said...

What wonderful smells Sally's kitchen must have had.
Your post makes me want to make some pasta with pesto over it!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Halle said...

I have so much basil I considered making pesto as well. Thanks for the recipe and tutorial.

Gibby Frogett said...

Gosh this is wonderful - I can imagine what it smells like as I had pesto on polenta yesterday - but not homemade this time. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe.
Gill x

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh my! I can just imagine how fabulous Sally's kitchen smelled and how yummy it will taste!It's good to be back home with an internet connection! Hugs, Chrisx

sheila 77 said...

I never know what I am going to see on your blog, Elizabeth, and I think it was amusing that you started to tell us about shopping and then said we weren't going to have that this time. Your description of you and Sally making pesto was fascinating and I loved how (as usual) you told us about the ins and outs and goods and not-so-goods as they happened with full photo illustrations. Wasn't that funny how Sally's kitchen turned out yellow, but it all added to the atmosphere and fun. Imagine having all that basil. I can grow many plants but basil has always defeated me, I'll blame the colder climate.
A great post, as always, thanks.

Darla said...

This may not be a cooking blog but I always enjoy talking food and recipes. Basil doesn't do well in our garden but we do buy it at the produce market. We make pesto in the summer, freeze it and use it in the winter when we need to pretend it is summer for a day or two.

johanna said...

i just love basil pesto so much - adding it to Mozzarella, Polenta, spaghetti... i always have an opened glass of it in the Refrigerator.
i loved seeing you both at work:) actually i´m too lazy to make basil pesto myself (i don´t have luck with growing basil in my garden), but every spring my son and i make bear´s garlic, as it is harder to find in the stores. same procedure as you did (without normal garlic of course). i Keep it cold in Little jars and love to eat it to Asparagus, or just melted in butter and added to potatoes. oh my, it sounds like you made me hungry;)
now up to prepare my tuesday post... after two weeks of having been away i´m happy to be home again;)

xox