Thursday, August 6, 2009
The basil plant is overflowing. By the end of the summer, I won't be surprised if I can climb up that stalk into the realm of the Goose that lays the golden eggs. Maria advised me to pick the larger leaves for cooking, and they were so ready to be picked. The bugs love them too, so before one bug clues his other buggy friends in on the Shangri-La that is growing on the balcony, I'd better harvest them gorgeous leaves. I would not insult the leaves by freezing them. Besides, 'fresh' is what I'm looking for. The answer – pesto.
I wanted to try the recipe from Sugar & Everything Nice, but I've not been able to access any blogspot sites. So I searched and came across one by Delia Smith. I used to watch her programmes years and years ago, and is a personality I had not seen for a long time. I replaced the pine nuts with walnuts (which I happen to have). I will have to add more nuts next time as the flavour of the walnuts didn't come through. (The recipe below indicates the amount of nuts I intend to use next time. Try it out and add or reduce the amount as you wish).You really need a lot of leaves for a small amount of ready pesto. But the end result is worth it.
Pesto (adapted from Delia Smith)
Fresh basil leaves 50g
Garlic 1 large pip
Olive oil 8 tbsp
Salt ½ tsp
Grated Parmesan cheese 25g
Blend all ingredients together except cheese. Mix cheese in. Makes about 1 cup.