Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fresh from the Garden Pesto

It's not too late to make use of that fresh Basil still popping out of your garden.  If you've had all the fresh basil you could ever want from our short summer, consider cutting and freezing the rest in the form of pesto.  The secret to the favorite pizza in our house is a basil pesto sauce base.  Learning from the master pie makers at American Dream, we top it with red sauce, artichoke hearts, feta, salami or pepperoni, and sundried tomatoes.  The other secret is to brush the edge of your crust with garlic butter.  Soooo good....   

For my own pesto, I use walnuts since they're more readily on hand under this roof.  These are most flavorful when lightly toasted in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 5-8 minutes (until just starting to brown).  

If you don't have a food processor, a handheld blender works just as well.  Before you freeze your pesto, put a small amount of lemon juice in the top of the jar to help prevent oxidization. 

Garlic Lovers’ Basil Pesto Recipe
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
5 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Makes approximately 6 oz. fresh pesto

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