Of course making pesto isn’t quite that fast, especially when it’s the first time in awhile. After a conversation about pesto with my neighbor at the community garden this morning, I was inspired to make a batch. Well, actually two batches. I had a colander full of a variety of basil with some of the largest leaves cut from a plant that I saved from a pot of basil microgreens.
Harvested Basil, Freshly made Pesto, and Basil Flowers
I followed a basic recipe, Classic Basil Pesto from Pestos! by Dorothy Rankin. The recipe ingredients include basil, garlic cloves, grated Parmesan and Romano, pine nuts or walnuts and lots of olive oil. I removed the stems and used a salad spinner to dry the washed leaves. I added the juice of a lemon and I wasn’t too precise with my measurements when adding the basil or the cheeses. I used equal quantities of Parmigiano–Reggiano and Stella Romano. Rankin suggests Romano Pecorino and calls for more Parmesan than Romano because the Romano is sharper. I didn’t find that to be an issue; maybe because I used a different brand of Romano. I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts. When I’ve tried pine nuts in spite of their price I’ve found them to be rancid, so I don’t buy them. I have been told you can get tasty pine nuts at Di Gregorios Italian Market on The Hill in St. Louis but I haven’t been down there in awhile. In my view the olive oil is a critical ingredient so I used 1/2 cup of Olea Estates oil. This fabulous oil is available from Karl Burgart, Healthy Harvest Gardens. He is a regular at the Ellisville Farmers Market. I’m hoping he’ll have his shipment of Greek olives at the market tomorrow. I’d love to include some with the pesto, maybe a fresh vegetable or two from the market and some nice pasta. Hopefully I’ll remember to capture the dish and post after dinner tomorrow night!