Sunday, 29 August 2010


We grow quite a lot of basil,  as I love home-made basil pesto.   It freezes well, so I usually try and make a couple of batches to see me through winter. Well, Autumn - it doesn' t often reach winter.

I usually eat it with penne, because it sticks to the ridges. I have been known to spread it on bread, eat it as a dip, have it on fish;  on chicken it's a dream....

This recipe has lemons in, which really freshens and lifts everything:

100g basil, stalks removed
Juice of 2 lemons
100g pine nuts (lightly toasted in a hot dry frying pan, until they are just coloured)
small amount of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
4 cloves of garlic
150ml Olive oil
100g finely grated parmesan
black pepper

I normally used a food processor, but you can do it by hand if necessary.

Put the basil, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt, garlic and oil into a food processor bowl, and pulse until you get the texture you like.  I like mine to look like couscous, but I've also made it smoother.  

Scrape everything out of the processor bowl, and stir in the parmesan, along with a few grinds of black pepper.

Keep (airtight) for a week or so in the fridge. If yu are going to freeze,  freeze immediately in useable portion sizes.


I was watching Gardeners' World on Friday, and Alys Fowler (is it Fowler?  I knew an Alice Fowler at school, maybe I'm getting the name confused) was Doing Something With Basil.  I thought she was going to make pesto...but no,  she chopped up the basil, stirred in a smidgeon of olive oil, and then put it into an ice cube tray to freeze.

That looked like a really great idea,  so I've done that this morning.    It always takes a surprising amount of basil to create relatively few chopped leaves....  I didn't use an ice cube tray,  I had some fantatic lidded baby food/puree pots in the cupboard, which we use when we are storing cheese culture and/or rennet in the freezer. I was going to link to them on the Lakeland website,  but it seems they don't make them any more.

I might try Alys's method with some mint....

No comments:

Post a Comment