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.............


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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