Pesto, a bit delayed

So, I survived "Hurricane" (well, Tropical Storm) Irene 2011.   I guess there's a chance of more rain/wind tonight, but it seems to have slowed down some.  However, it was (so far) definitely not as bad as the hype predicted.   People here even went as far as boarding up windows -- definitely not necessary, but I also don't think I've ever seen that in my lifetime.  Not here.  Living inland in New England, we don't see many hurricanes.  I feel like today was a very, very rare day where New England slowed to a crawl without a major snowstorm going on.  It felt very strange.  It kind of feels like we should be going out to shovel a couple of feet of snow now.

I hope that the garden survived the storm.  I finally have one butternut squash growing, and I want it to make it to maturity!  Much of the rest of the garden is definitely reaching end-of-the-summer proportions.  I do have a lot of small peppers I would be sad to lose though.

The "Hurricane" also gave me a super long weekend.  No classes tomorrow!  And it was supposed to be day one of grad school, too.  Not so much anymore.  Hooray for long, long weekends at home!  We had Friday "off", too as they didn't want us on campus for orientation while the Freshmen were moving in.  I guess that really, grad school now starts on Wednesday, since I don't have any actual classes on Tuesdays.  Being home (already) has been really nice.
At some point way back when, I promised that mom and I would make pesto with the basil from the garden.  One day a couple of weeks ago, we did.  I just haven't had time to write about it.  Other things keep getting in the way.
Making pesto is always an adventure.  We basically base the amount we can make on whatever we have the least of and we just go until whichever ingredient that is is gone.  This year, we actually had to run out to the store in the middle to get more cheese.  We just didn't have enough.
We also learned two important lessons this year: 1.) when you are used to using extra light olive oil, pesto is one thing that tastes dramatically different when you use extra virgin olive oil. and 2.) using one small and one large-ish garlic clove to make up for one being too small creates very garlic-y pesto.    Seeing as NES likes garlic (a lot!) we pushed the garlic-y ones off on him.  We gave him some good ones, too, don't worry.
We always (after we re-remember during the first batch) double it and make two recipes at a time.  Otherwise it really would take all afternoon.

Pesto a.k.a. Basil-Cheese Sauce
from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook

2/3 cup fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 medium clove garlic
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor.  Process until coarsely chopped.  Add oil as the food processor is running.  Process until a thick, slightly chunky paste.

Good for pasta, sandwich spreads, and in omelets, amongst other uses.

What we do is we use the smallest size leftover containers we can find, and we freeze them.  Each one, when thawed, is about three servings, perfect for our family.
And this is how we have homemade pesto all year long.  We just finished last year's frozen ones about a month ago.


Popular Posts