Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pesto pronto

I noticed today that my basil plants are starting to flower.

This is my cue to make pesto!  I will be freezing the finished product in a lightly oiled ice cube tray, so I can use it later.

I am using a slightly modified recipe from this book.  The only thing I am changing is the nuts - I am using Australian macadamias instead of pine nuts, because I happen to have some in the pantry.  Plus, I know they work a treat.

You only need five ingredients, plus salt:

As I don't have a blender, my pesto tends to end up slightly more 'bitsy' than if I had blended it, but it smells and tastes just as divine (so I don't care)!

My favourite way of serving it is to defrost several cubes of pesto, add a beaten egg yolk and a bit more olive oil, then dollop a spoonful of the mixture into a soup bowl and pour on hot vegetable soup, a la Ian Parmenter's provencal pistou soup.  It is particularly wonderful to be able to have this 'basiled up' soup during winter, when basil is not available.

So, after mortar-and-pestling the garlic, nuts and basil, I add grated parmesan cheese and oil . . .

 . . .then spoon the mixture into the oiled ice cube tray . . .

 . . . and pop the tray into the freezer.  I have lidded ice cube trays, which is a boon for something like this.

Yum!  Now I have home made pesto whenever I need it.

If you are lucky enough to have homegrown basil, why not try making pesto?  If not, consider growing some next summer.  There's nothing like it!


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