As summer has sadly ended here in Australia (I don’t know if I can deal with another Orange winter), I’ve been thinking of how to use up all the herbs and vegies that won’t survive the cold.
Basil is without a doubt my favourite herb, and we had a huge amount of it this year so I decided to make a batch of basil pesto!
I used the recipe from a book my parents gave Harley and myself for Christmas – Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion. It is such a good book for newcomers to gardening like myself. It's also great for people wanting a kitchen garden but have little space to work with.
The book features a range of the most popular fruits, vegies and herbs in a kitchen garden and each section has advice on when to plant and harvest as well as some great tips for organic pesticides. Along with this information Stephanie provides delicious and simple recipes for each fruit, vegie or herb.
1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to seal
¼ cups pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
60 grams parmesan, grated
Harley (being a chef), had to throw in his own tips as I was making this, so I did add the zest and juice of one lemon as well.
Put basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. Stop the machine once or twice and scrape down the sides with a spatula.
When evenly blended, scrape the green paste into a bowl and stir in cheese.
Spoon pesto into a clean and dry 250 ml-capacity screw-top jar. Press down with the back of a spoon to ensure there are no air pockets and seal with a film of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.
This recipe is from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion (Penguin Lantern 2009).