Sunday, September 29, 2013


So what can you do with all those basil leaves your herb garden is overrun with at the end of the season? My friend Paula (who's one heck of a good cook) shared this recipe and idea with me:

2 Tbsp. pine nuts (or walnuts)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1¼  cups fresh basil leaves
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. Pecorino or Romano cheese, grated
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (minus 2 Tbsp.)
  • Place pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and the cheeses in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse to chop the basil.
  • With the machine running, add the oil gradually and process until creamy and smooth.
I usually double (or triple) this recipe. Then, using ice cube trays, I fill each opening with pesto, freeze it solid, food-saver each individual frozen cube, and use the pesto as I wish from the thawed pesto cubes. This way you can have fresh homemade pesto well into the winter. I use pesto not only in pasta dishes, but also as a base sauce for pizza when I want something different than a tomato sauce base.