I returned home from my parent's house recently with a huge bag of basil... beautiful fragrant lush green basil. When I'm in possession of such a large quantity of fresh basil (whether I've grown it myself or raided my parent's herb garden), there is only one thing I can think of to preserve it, MAKE PESTO!
Pesto... It is a delicious combination of basil, garlic, toasted pinenuts, parmesan and olive oil, and it is VERY VERY VERY EASY to make.
Basically this is how it's made. Wash the basil and carefully inspect for any freeloaders looking for a free meal (those little green caterpillars can be tricky to find on the basil). Toast the pine nuts. Grate the parmesan cheese. Peel the garlic.
Throw it all in the bowl of a food processor and blitz. Drizzle in the olive oil.
Many recipes will say to pick the leaves from the stalk and only use these in the pesto but I use the whole thing, leaves AND stalks. The stalks have the same lovely basil flavour as the leaves, and you will dramatically increase the amount of pesto you will make using the stalks.
Pack the pesto into little containers and drizzle some extra olive oil over the top (this stops the pesto from turning brown).
And this is the preserving part, the pesto freezes really well, so all that lovely summery basil goodness is now in my freezer ready to use when we need a quick tasty meal. If you've packed it into smaller containers, such as half a cup, you can defrost just enough for dinner.
I have to say, I love having my iPhone in the kitchen to be able to take quick photos on the go :)
Thanks for dropping by.