17 October 2007

mmm, pesto

As I mentioned yesterday, our tomato sauce looked a little lonely in our big, new freezer. Last night I whipped up some basil pesto to keep it company. Also, our basil patch was growing out of control and we needed to use it up before the cold got it. But mostly I wanted a friend for the tomato sauce.

This year, we planted basil around the bell peppers. They're reportedly good companions for each other and though I don't know the reason for that, I do know that we got awesome peppers and basil.

I pulled basil until I'd filled an empty case of beer...

...and dragged it all up to the kitchen. I pulled off all the good, relatively bug-free basil leaves and put them in this gigantic bowl so I could wash them:

I ended up with two bowls full of basil–and there's about twice as much still out in the garden. Looks like we'll be pesto-ing again before the season is out. And yes, in case you're wondering, we do all our food prep on the kitchen floor.

When all the basil leaves were cleaned and dried and scrunched up, we probably had about four cups. To that, I added maybe a cup and a half or two cups of olive oil, a handful of pine nuts, a small head of garlic, about a quarter of a cup of balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of salt, and a deliciously obscene amount of grated up Romano and Parmesan cheese. I threw everything into the trusty Magic Bullet (of infomercial fame–thanks, Yolie) and zapped it up.

Pesto in progress:

It's pretty thick, because when we cook with it we'll add a little starchy pasta water to thin it out. I ended up with six cups, which I split into six freezer bags. Yum.

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