al Vero Pesto alla Genovese
Front Porch Basil
Front porch basil. Basil is easy to grow and fits right in with your decorative plants and other herbs. With our HOT summer we have grown it in large clay pots placed on a lightly shaded porch, next to cadmium red geraniums ! A very pretty combination. The more you cut basil the more dense it becomes. At the very least, pinch off the tiny leaf tops of the longer stems, this encourages thicker leaves.
Last night it actually cooled down. I clipped large stems of basil, enjoying the deep green of the leaves and the strong pungent smell. Not trusting the bugs in our yard, I washed thoroughly with cold water and left it to drain in a colander. Tonight would be pesto night.
Originally pesto was made with a mortar and pestle. (hence, the name Pesto) Today, many use a blender to make this delicious, rich, vibrant sauce.
a very large bunch of basil, two cups packed (I remove the thick stems)
a handful of pine nuts, 1/4 cup
a handful of grated Parmesan cheese/or Romano
a large clove of garlic
a 1/4 c to slightly more of extra virgin olive oil
a touch of salt to taste.
Optional: buttermilk or cream
Put all in a blender and grind to a creamy consistency…I like it a tiny bit chunky.
Pesto keeps in refrigerator for a few weeks.Serve cold or room temperature over steamy hot pasta. If your sauce is a bit too thick, add either a bit of pasta water or better still buttermilk or cream.