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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If you give a bored stay at home mom a giant basil bush...

The other day I posted this picture of our two basil plants on Instagram.

I would love to take credit for these two beauties but the garden is my husband's domain.  Occasionally I will water and pick things but only if he's out of town.

I had been eating a lot of this in an attempt to use up our tomatoes and this gorgeous basil...

...but while very yummy, this was going to leave a lot of beautiful basil wasting away on the bush.

Several people told me that I should make pesto, and low and behold, guess what the Pioneer Woman posted today?


And guess who had free time today and all the ingredients?

That's right!  Me!

So I set out to make a batch of homemade pesto.  And in honor of Ree, I took pictures to document the process.

I collected a load of basil and trimmed the stalk ends. It filled up my colander to give you an idea of the amount of leaves I used.  Probably about 5 cups.

Then I tossed it into my food processor and pulsed it a bit until the leaves were broken down.  And then I added two cloves of garlic that I grated on my micro plane just like PW did.  She said this allows you to have the garlic flavor but keeps you from getting big chunks of raw garlic in your mouth. Good tip!  I also added 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and several large pinches of kosher salt.

She only added 1/2 cup of cheese but she also used almonds.  (Most pesto has pine nuts or almonds or pecans but since Peter is allergic to all nuts, I omitted them and added extra cheese.  If I had had more parm, I might have even gone up to a cup but I used all I had).

Then I pulsed away until it was all combined and then I started to add olive oil.  I did as PW instructed and started  processing the basil while slowly drizzling in a 1/2 cup of olive oil.  After it was combined, it looked like this....

It was still a little chunk so I continued to add another 1/4 cup of olive oil until it looked like this....


PW added another 1/2 cup but I've got a feeling it's because of the almonds.  Since I didn't have any nuts, I didn't need the extra oil.  You'll just need to process and add oil and check for consistency.  It's better to have to keep adding that to get too much in there.

This stuff tasted so good!

And then, because I was hungry from all my hard work (ha!),  I had a nice little snack...

I can not even begin to tell you how good this tasted with fresh pesto.  It was wonderful!

And now I'm heading to the store to get more EVOO and more Parmesan cheese and some freezer containers so I can make mass quantities of this stuff!

Beth's Nut Free Pesto


5 cups of basil leaves, rinsed with the steam trimmed
2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated (not the kind in the green container)
3/4 cup of olive oil
kosher salt, several pinches


Place basil in food processer and process until leaves are chopped.
Add garlic, cheese and salt and process until combined.
Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil while processing.
Check consistency of pesto.  If it's too thick continue to slowly add more olive oil until it's nice and smooth.



Mari said...

That looks incredible! If only I had fresh basil!

Unknown said...

Beth, freeze it in ice cube trays then pop them out and store. When you're ready to use, just pop a cube or two out and mix with fresh pasta. Yum. O. So jealous!!

Amelia Bentrup said...

Your pesto looks delish!

But, I just have to know, in the first photo, what is that brown sauce drizzled across? All I can think of is chocolate, but even I can't imagine putting chocolate on basil/cheese/tomato.

Sarah said...

Mmmm.. That looks so tasty! So jealous of your basil bushes, ours have been bullied by the squash into staying pretty small.

Lucky as Sunshine said...


Kelli said...

Oh I love basil. I freeze my basil so I have it all year round. Nothing better than fresh basil. It smells wonderful as well

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm impressed with the basil plants AND your pesto. I love it too but I've never tried to make it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

deborah said...

I love food photos! Especially fresh produce. I like to eat baked goods better, {ahem} but fresh garden stuff is so, so pretty!