Friday, July 30, 2010

Pesto!


If you are lucky enough to live down South and you were a good little gardener and planted your herbs, chances are you have TONS of basil right now. Well, here's what you're going to do with it. This is just the thing for using up great big quantities. I always double this recipe.

Pesto
2c. fresh basil leaves (1 large bunch)
1/4c. chopped walnuts
1/4c. olive oil
2t. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/4t. salt
1/4c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2T. freshly grated Romano cheese (if you have it)
Process first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender 2 min. or until smooth. (Scrape down sides, if necessary.) Stir in cheese.
You can toss this with pasta, eat with toasted French bread or crackers, or place in ice cube trays and freeze up to 3 months. Replacing the basil with half Italian parsley and half fresh mint leaves is equally delish- just leave out the cheese.

And speaking of mint! If you have tons of mint, use it to make mint syrup.

Mint Syrup
3c. coarsely chopped fresh mint
2c. sugar
2c. water
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cover and cool completely. Pour mixture through a wire mesh strainer. Use to make Mint Juleps (2-4T. bourbon to 1T. mint syrup) or to sweeten tea or give away to a friend. With your used mint leaves place them on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Place in a slightly warmed oven. When the leaves are dry (a few hours?) you have candied mint!

5 comments:

Anna said...

I made Pesto tonight thanks to you. :) I forgot how much we love it and I did need to do something with my Basil instead of letting it grow into a tree! I plan to try the mint candy soon.

The R said...

This looks yummy. Have you ever tried pine nuts in place of the walnuts?

Esther said...

You know, I have not used pine nuts a whole lot. I think the last time was a recipe where you put vanilla ice cream in a really cool goblet, then spoon hot fudge sauce (w/ cinn. and coffee) over that, and then top all that off w/ toasted pine nuts.
Have you used pine nuts in the pesto recipe? What recipes do you like them in?
Here is the easy yummy sundae recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mexican-Hot-Fudge-Sundaes-231452

Anna said...

I've used pine nuts in this recipe and it is really good. They aren't really cheep so I keep them in the freezer and they last a long time this way, especially if you just use them when making Pesto. If any of you haven't tried it you really must. (We eat it on Angel Hair pasta and then have the leftovers w/ Wheat Thins. It would be great on pizza too.)

Esther said...

I'm so glad you mentioned using it on pizza! I had forgotten all about that. How delish would that be?!