Now is the time to be harvesting basil and other herbs. My daughter Ainsley has been helping me harvest herbs since she was just three. Even then, she could help by pulling all the leaves off the stalks once they were cut, which saved me a lot of time. Plus, she had a blast doing it. I continue to invest a great deal of time with both my children in teaching them how to assist me in the kitchen. If I put in the time now, I know it will really pay off in the future. Not only does it provide us with wonderful opportunities for conversation, but I know we are making great memories together too.
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After harvesting the basil, we trimmed it all back and began making this basil pesto. I just doubled the recipe below and spooned it into ice cube trays (It filled 2.5 trays). Allow the trays to freeze for at least 24 hours, because it takes a while with the olive oil. Then I popped the cubes out with a knife and stored them in freezer bags.
Now, when I want to use basil pesto for pasta, pizza, or some other dish, I pull out a couple of cubes. Microwaving for 10-20 seconds is all it takes to have fresh basil pesto ready to use!
Pesto Money Saver
If you have been to the grocery to buy pine nuts, you probably noticed they are a little pricey. I found them at my Costco for $25 for a 1.5 lb bag, which is a great price. However, that is a bit much for me to pay, so we have started substituting the pine nuts for walnuts and it tastes great.
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Into the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Pulse until finely chopped.
- With the blender still running, slowly pour ½ cup of olive oil.
- Use what you need and freeze the rest.
Recipe developed by Kelly Hancock ©2010 Faithful Provisions. For personal use only. May not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed for capital gain without prior permission from Kelly Hancock.