Makin' Pesto

First off, a blender does not a food processor make.

Also, flowering lemon basil adds a, how do you say, kind of bitter taste.

But other than that, this was delicious!

About 2 cups of home-grown basil (lemon basil, Greek mini basil, some basil I'm growing from my farmer), after rinsing (some of it had dirt on it, ew!); a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (because I don't have nuts); three cloves garlic; and olive oil (I didn't measure, I just poured in until the pesto seemed pesto-y).

I pulsed the seeds first, then added the garlic, then the basil. That's where things got a bit tricky, because a blender is not a food processor. I added the olive oil and kind of mushed everything down, blended for a few minutes, and still ended up with large chunks of leaves/stems.

It seemed like not much product from the amount of basil I thought I had harvested. But I spread it on half a loaf of bread, and it was a lovely meal. Mmmmm, so garlicky and basily... Next time, I will add some mint and lemon geranium to make it a bit more refreshing!

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3 Responses to Makin' Pesto

  1. I thought it could only be done with pine nuts? And where have I read that basil should be harvested before it flowers? Or am I making it up? (that wouldn't surprise me)
    Well done you growing enough basil to make pesto with. I rarely achieve that, outdoors or in.

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  2. You can make pesto without any nuts or seeds at all--I didn't even use salt or pepper. In fact, next time I make it, I think I might only use half basil, half mint. Kind of make a chutney/pesto.

    But then, I'm reckless in the kitchen!

    Basil should be harvested before it flowers, most definitely. I have never had basil get to that stage, however, so I didn't know how very much it truly would affect the flavour. It's not too bad, but next time, I will do it right!

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  3. Oh yum. I'm a big fan of lemon basil these days, although I haven't used it in pesto. I did make some pesto yesterday with regular basil, though. I think nuts are essential, but maybe because I just really like nuts. Yesterday I used a combo of pine nuts and black walnuts.

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