Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Presto Pesto

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!

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