Is there anything better than basil? My bsail plant is doing really well, and some of its leaves were getting pretty big. I haven't needed basil for anything I've cooked lately, but I knew I had to prune the leaves to keep encouraging new growth. So, off with the leaves...but how do I not let them go to waste?
I looked in my cupboard and saw I had one small clove of garlic left, and I decided to make a pesto. I chopped up the garlic, washed and julienned the basil leaves and tossed them both in my mortar and pestle. No pine nuts, so I substituted those leftover almonds again - they've been coming in quite handy. A little salt, pepper, and drizzle of oil, and I was off to work.
That plant looks pretty great, huh? And that was after pruning. I know I'm going to have to trim it again in a few days.
Using the mortar and pestle, it took 7 minutes or so to grind everything up into a paste. It's more work, but I wasn't making enough to be able to use the food processor. And using the mortar and pestle made me feel a little old school. ;)
So now with the pesto made, I had to find a way to store it for future use. I've seen my mom use the ice-cube tray technique before, and I thought it would be a great way to store the pesto in individual portions. I lined the tray with some plastic wrap and scooped in the pesto.
So there you go. Homemade pesto, with some substitutions, and I didn't need anything from the grocery store. I love that part! This little garden is really starting to pay off!