Why you should plant lots and lots of basil!!!


It's time to be planning those vegetable gardens for summer preserving. One of my favorite pasta dishes is linguine with pesto. I love pesto and I finally found a recipe that takes that summer goodness and keeps it all winter. So here we go................

Cut 2 quarts of basil. Just fill up a couple of quart plastic storage bags. Then with scissors, trim the leaves off the stems and drop into a large bowl of water. The leaves are going to float. There may be a lot of sand and dirt in the leaves so it may take 4 or 5 waters to get them clean. You want no sand sinking to the bottom of the bowl.

Spin the leaves in a salad spinner to dry. And lay them out on paper towels for 2 hours minimum. You want the leaves very dry.

Then with the food processor or blender....... put in 1/2 c good quality olive oil, 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, a pinch of salt and 2 cups of packed basil leaves.

Pour into a freezer container and label.

Now -- in the dead of winter -- when you are dieing for a taste of summer...... thaw the container of pesto. Grind about 3 tablespoons of pine nuts (you could use pecans or walnuts if you like) in a mortar and pestle. Grate 1/2 cup of parmigiano cheese and 2 tablespoons of romano cheese and soften 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix the cheese together in a bowl, add the pine nuts and pesto mixture and mix well. Add the butter.

Serve over hot pasta .... you may want to reserve a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce. If you would like, serve with sauted mushrooms and garlic and toasted pine nuts.

This is pretty flexible -- you can use almost any hard Italian cheese, most any nut and definitely any pasta.

So plant lots of basil.............

Comments

BlueGate said…
Oh that looks and sounds just divine! Now I wonder...are 250 plants going to be enough???
clink said…
Jill -- I don't know! I planted 54 and I have no more pesto so obviously that's not enough!!!!!
Deborah said…
Yummy! And what a coincidence -- just yesterday I started eight little pots of basil seeds. Now I'm wondering if that's enough.
girlwithasword said…
There is NEVER enough basil is there? I love cutting laundry-baskets full in the summer and turning it into pesto. I just make it into pesto and freeze it that way - your way is really interesting though!!

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