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Daily Archives: September 10, 2013

Perfecting Pesto

To me, pesto is one of those universally adaptable ingredients. Slather it on flatbread. Mix it to make dressings. Plop it on pasta. Spread it on fish. On chicken. Drop cubes of it into crock pot meals. Like chicken soup.

I love making pesto with all sorts of bases. Like basil. Like garlic scapes. Like radish greens, carrot tops and whatever else green looks good.

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One thing that is always in my fridge and my freezer is pesto.

I have been working on my processes to make pesto. Like using the food processor to grate cheese.

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Start with a few hunks of pecorino romano and/or Parmigiano Reggiano. Process it until the food processor stops migrating across the counter top.

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Whatever doesn’t get used in the pesto goes in the refrigerator for later use.

Today I harvested three cups of African Blue Basil.

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African blue basil has been my most prolific producer for the past two years. I still have at least 4-6 cups out there in the herb garden.

I toasted some pine nuts. Added some pistachios. My ratio: 1 cup basil to 1/3 cup nuts to 1/2 cup cheese. I add two cloves of garlic for every cup of basil.

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This is my roasted garlic from yesterday. There were six cloves added to my three cup basil mix today.

I start with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper, then add to taste as I go along. I drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the processor to get the consistency I want. I don’t even think of measuring olive oil. It is just eyeballing the clump spinning around in the processor and getting it to that creamy mix, that isn’t too dry.

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Today I put two cups of it away in the freezer. I also had a four ounce container to use for dinner tomorrow. This combination was one I really liked, and will try to duplicate in the future.

Here’s to pesto!