Friday, September 21, 2012

Basil Pesto

pestoBasil is easy to grow, inexpensive in large bunches at farmers markets in summer, and perfect for making homemade pesto.  I make batches and freeze in mini and regular size muffin tins. 
basil
 It's then available year round for pasta dishes, appetizers, sauces, pizza and dips. 


A small jar of pesto can easily cost $4 or more at the grocery store, but homemade can make three times the amount for about the same expense.


Our local farmers market sells a huge bouquet of basil for $3 or $4, about 4 cups which is a bargain.

pesto
  • Basil Pesto
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place walnuts, pine nuts, salt, pepper, garlic, butter, basil, and parsley in processor. Turn on and slowly add olive oil pulsing until smooth. Fold in cheese. 

Store in a jar in the refrigerator covered slightly with olive oil to prevent surface from turning brown, or use muffin tins or ice cube trays to portion out and freeze, then store in freezer bags.  I freeze in smaller portions and set muffin tins for a few seconds in warm water so portions of pesto slide out of tins easily to put in freezer bag. Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 cups.


Estimate cost with purchased basil $4.00 or less, with homegrown basil, less than $2.00.