Beautiful Basil

I decided to create a small herb/fruit garden in my back yard this year. The cilantro was wonderful while it lasted.  My strawberries were sweet but tiny.  My blueberries never came to be and my rosemary might be sick…it has freckles.  My basil, however, is just beautiful!  

I have been driving my friends crazy for recipes they love that use basil and have discovered several that I love as well.  One of the easiest to make is Pesto.  Being a newcomer to Pesto, I don’t know all of the uses for it but have heard of it being used on toasted bread as a spread, or on a sandwich…I have grown to love it on pasta.  See the amazing recipe my italian friend shared with me and I am now sharing with you:

 

Beautiful Basil Pesto:
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup+ olive oil
2 cups (packed) fresh basil, washed and dried
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

In food processor, blend garlic, salt and 1/4 cup olive oil until smooth.  Add pine nuts and basil and blend until smooth.  Add more oil as needed to reach desired consistency.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in parmesan cheese.  Toss with your favorite pasta and enjoy!

 

I like pictures so here’s a step by step with photos to match the process of making this delicious dish.  So here’s what you need:

Start with your garlic, olive oil and salt then add the pine nuts once it looks like this:

My friend’s grandmother taught her how they spun salad before the invention of the salad spinner and it works great for drying basil for this recipe.  Lay the washed basil in the center of a clean kitchen towel.

Grab each of the edges of the towel into one hand creating a small pouch.

Step outside and sling the towel around in a circular and back and forth motion until you no longer see water flinging from the towel. Ta Da!

Add it to the pine nuts and garlic “paste” and you have this (I added a little more olive oil):

Finally, add the cheese:

And serve whatever way you like it…mine is over bowtie pasta:

Freeze extra pesto in ice cube trays to make for easy single serve portions.  I have an automatic ice maker and don’t own any ice cube trays so I am using my itty bitty tuperware containers which gives me about 3 to 4 servings.

Enjoy!

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