Surplus! What To Do With All That Basil
Not all the plants in the yard are strictly for the critters. I'll be putting up a few recipes over the next week or so as we deal with the end of the harvest.
Pesto Recipe sent by reader RT:
Cut off leaves - rinse and dry.
Throw in the grinder/processor thingie
a quarter cup of
2-3 garlic cloves
a half teaspoon of salt
half a cup of walnuts (less or more - whatever you like)
third of a cup of parmesan cheese - this is optional, but nice...
Give it a big whizz around in the thingie - maybe add more oil if it's dry looking. Chuck it on some pasta, add extra parmesan and there you go. Can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Add a little surface coating of olive oil when keeping in the fridge so the top doesn't go black from oxidation. (You can still eat it if it does go black, though.) Nice on a sandwich, too, thinly smeared as a kind of basic bread coating; with pizza, too, as a base spread. Hope you enjoy it!
RT tells me the pesto freezes nicely in ice cube trays or other smaller packages, making it easy to defrost just what you need for a particular occasion. As for the recipe, I'm big on the garlic, so 3 cloves works for me. She doesn't mention how many leaves . . . the more the merrier! You can always add more of the other ingredients if necessary. However, the simple thing to do is mix up the other ingredients first and the add the chopped basil until you have a good consistency.
We snip back the basil continually during the growing season to keep it from bolting (with the occasional flower stalk left out there just for fun--see photo), preferring to keep it usable throughout the summer. But it's about time to harvest if we're going to because the frost will do it in--so its the perfect time to make pesto. Enjoy!