Garden Fresh Pesto – Nina Ossont
• 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
• 4 cloves garlic
• ¾ cup grated Romano cheese
• ½ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (Optional)
1. Combine basil, garlic, Romano or Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender.
2. Blend to a smooth paste.
3. Add parsley if desired.
Pesto is one of my favorite things to make from my garden. My Genovese Basil was ready to harvest, so I decided to make some fresh basil. As luck would have it, I also had my Ace 55 tomatoes and parsley ready for harvesting as well. Its a truly lovely thing to walk out to your garden to get the things you need for a meal, especially on these warm summer days where you can smell and almost hear the humidity.
What is really fun about herbs is you can trim them throughout the season, and they come back continually. I can be particularly precious about my plants, but I know I will get more parsley and basil if I stick to trim what I need when I need it, as well as keeping it from flowering.
I decided to make pesto pasta for lunch for myself and my cousin Becca who was home with a tiny new baby named Ada. We are both ¼ Sicilian in our heritage and are very picky about Italian cuisine. Becca is a superior cook, but I wanted to make something for her as she now has her hands extra full!
When I make pesto, I always use Romano cheese. I just think it has a great deep flavor. Sometimes I am more liberal with the oil.
I ended up making a large batch- in for a penny in for a pound, right? My little Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor is not ideal for this much work! After this adventure I quickly upgraded to a large food processor. Maybe I should invest in the much larger Cuisinart 14-Cup Custom Food Processor.
It’s so satisfying to smell fresh basil in the kitchen. Once all the basil, garlic, Romano cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, and parsley were blended, I tossed some into spaghetti, and topped it with a few chopped Ace 55 tomatoes.
We had a lovely visit between the baby’s feeding times eating lunch on the shaded patio. It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon!