Basil Pesto



Basil Pesto 1


(A little update here:  Since this post has been in my draft, I had to add this before I posted.. for I am thrilled today. Michelle picked my Blueberry Gelato for the Host Award, DMBLGIT September 2009. Yaaaa:-D)

I waited all summer very very patiently, but at last my dreams came true.




Long before summer arrived, I had a pretty picture in my mind: few big bushes of basil in my home & me making fresh pesto with the basil in my garden which I would have grown so lovingly. The seeds came, so did the pots, pretty soon the little green heads showed up, which soon grew 2 little leaves. I would go & peak every single day. The Basil saplings were all very happy till they grew a few inches tall, then they revolted to the hot summer. I gave them a new corner in my home… I tended them, talked to them, but they just refused to grow.. anyway to cut the entire summer short, four of the plants survived & touch wood are doing pretty well. Few weeks back I saw enough green to make my dream a reality – the Pesto of course! Well here it is.


Basil Pesto 3


I would say the pesto is slightly unconventional; Feta Cheese, Walnut & Mint is what I have used here instead of the more common Parmesan & Pine nuts. The crushed pepper adds the side kick.



Basil Pesto


Ingredients: (makes about 1 cup)

  1. 2 Cups Fresh Basil leaves
  2. A Fistful of Fresh Mint leaves
  3. 3-4  Cloves of Garlic, Peeled
  4. 2 Tablespoons Crumbled Feta Cheese
  5. 1/2 Cup Walnut, lightly toasted (or Pine Nuts)
  6. 1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (or to taste)
  8. Salt
  9. Crushed Red Pepper, to taste


Preparation:

(If the walnut & garlic are not chopped, pulse then coarsely before adding the leaves & other ingredients.)

Combine  Basil, Mint, Cheese, Walnut, Garlic & Salt in food processor & process while adding the olive oil in  a steady stream. Stop the processor & scrape the sides if you need to. Process till everything is well combined & smooth.

Stir in the lemon juice, & the crushed pepper.



Basil Pesto 2


While this  was kind of an experiment with whatever I had at home, I was pretty much pleased with it. Some fire & tang & yes a lot of flavor of course, after all it is home grown basil!!

I used the pesto to make some spaghetti on the same day, will post that sometimes later.

Note: Blanch the leaves before making the pesto. This helps maintain the bright green color. I forgot to blanch mine.

Storing the Pesto: The pesto can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.. long enough for next summer, right?




Related Posts:

Chimichurri

Hummus en Fuego

Spiced Powder



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38 comments to Basil Pesto

  • Looks great! and home-grown – topper !!

  • A classic in my kitchen, I enjoy often with pasta, when I can I add pistachios to have a different version :)
    Congrats for win with the Blueberry Gelato just awesome, totally awesome!

    Cheers!

    Gera

  • Dee

    Congratulations soma !!! YAYAYYA!!!! Hugs and many more awards to come !!! Love the walnut addition. I love to add walnuts and walnut oil to everything possible !!!!

  • Haa..that geltao had to win ,hands down Soma..congrats ..:)..hope you are feeling better now n sitting with legs streched out,oredering hub n kids around,n biting into those crackers dipped in this pesto..Blisss..sigh..!!

  • BongMom

    Congrats dear Soma, I give you STGH award(Soma Tussi Great Ho) , your beautiful pics and recipes are a joy to see (& of course eat :)

    stgh pore pore besh onekhon dhore hNashchi.. love your sense of humor:-)

  • Yaay!!! Congratulation Soma! Actually, you fairly deserved it. :) Loved the basil pesto and the pot. :)

  • You totally deserved the award – that gelato was simply fabulous! This pesto looks fabulous; can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Hi Soma. congrats dear. The pesto looks great and very inviting with that beautiful click. I liked your idea of adding Feta and mint, will surely give a nice twist to the basic pesto.

  • Awesome news dear Soma and hearty congratulations. You truly deserve it, your recipes choice , pictures are always a treat. Loved the first picture.

  • Cham

    Oh wow Soma, U deserve such an award especially for the vivid color, what a brilliant capture, I missed those posts :(
    Another flavorful pesto!

  • Thank god for u Soma … pujor hangover theke amake dhoroni te firiye anle pesto diye . :-)
    Congrats on the award!
    Amra ekta beach e giyechilam onekdin age … shekhane jhaoon boner moddhe basil er jungle! Ki shugondho charidike! :-)

  • Congratulations Soma. I love most of your pics and you desrve that win.
    As for pesto, the more unconventional, the better wouldn’t you say? :)

  • Ivy

    Congrats Soma for winning, all your pictures are so beautiful. The basil pesto sounds great and that reminds me that I have to cut my basil and make it into pesto before it is too late.

  • congrats…
    the pesto looks quite inviting…

  • Congragulation. love the idea of mint pesto, much more reshing than the basil one too.

  • Congratulations.Love the pesto.I too prefer walnuts to pinenuts in my pesto.thgh never tried with feta.Looks great Soma. BTW congrats on STGH as well ;)

  • Congrats Soma..Eye catching basil pesto looks great..

  • Yayaya!! Congratulations!!! I share the same dream too and i hope it comes true some day :) Love the pretty green color:)

  • I never knew pesto can look so beautiful. I don’t particularly like it but the ones I have seen never looked this beautiful :)

    My first introduction to pesto was when I had to run back and forth in the grocery trying to figure out where I can find it. It was in DDs school grocery list. I finally found it and a few tbsp worth cost close to 8 bucks.

    Oh and Congrats!

  • wowwwwww!!! Looks so yummy and inviting!!

  • mohana

    Congratulations didi !! well, I am not surprised….u derseve to win !
    as usual – yummy recipie !

  • What a unique pesto!! I bet it was delicious! And congratulations for your award! You deserve it.

  • Ann

    No wonder why you recieved the valuable award..Your pictures talk and they remain there as the symbol of aesthetics for me..Many hugs for that..

    Reg My Blog,Really I lost all my interest in blogging myself..But i love to search all yours.(and some health prob too..cant clog in front of computer..been thinking for long now.this is the right time I feel da)

    So,will be visiting your place often and for sure will be in touch..Many hugs for your valuable friendship…

    Hope to see more from you,

  • i have some basil growing and i do the daily check as well :D

  • I love pesto, your pictures are so beautiful Soma…..

  • u r lucky u ahve ur own basil plant ,i ahve o use store brought one,.;-(

  • I love pesto..And I love your pesto served in that cute lil’ pot:D Lovely pic!

  • Hey, congrats! I love the contrast in the first picture too. Very pretty pesto:)

  • Congrats Soma on the award you deserved it :)
    pesto looks great ,makes me want to grow my own herbs garden :)

  • Homegrown basil for pesto is the best! Sounds delicious with feta too.

  • Lovely Soma. I love the twist you did with the feta, walnut and mint. Congrats on getting something you could use out of your basil plant. I, on the other hand, killed mine very early on in the summer. I just don’t have a green thumb I guess. But in the spirit of optimism there is always next year! :)

  • Homemade pesto made with homegrown basil, wow! It looks fabulous!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Soma, I never tire of basil pesto and this one would be delicious tossed in some spaghetti.

  • Titou

    Pesto is fabulous, and as mentioned, fresh homegrown basil are pretty much unbeatable!
    Unfortunately, some of us are either vegetarian or allergic to dairy products (read: cheese) and can’t eat “regular” pesto. :-(
    But I’ve found out that vegan pesto actually exists and is quite simple to make… it’s basically a regular pesto but without the cheese… I don’t think it’s allowed to copy/paste the recipe so here’s the link:
    http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/main-courses/simple-vegan-pesto

  • I tried making pesto for the very first time today, and it ended up looking fluorescentish green (much like the pic you have put up here) and tasted very VERY raw.

    None of the recipes I looked up said anything about cooking or blanching the leaves! Anyhow, what can be done to get rid of the very raw taste – cook it?

    PS: I am a total novice when it comes to cooking, so any tip will really help.

    So sorry that it was not up to your taste:-( I do blanch my leaves sometimes, but not to get rid of the raw taste. Blanching will make the leaves retain their deep green color. (I have mentioned that at the end of the post). I have never cooked my leaves to make a pesto. If you are using it in the pasta and use it on hot pasta, the raw taste might be mellowed. Otherwise I would think it is a matter of getting used to the “raw” taste or using bare minimum in your dishes just for the flavors. Sorry I could not be of much help.

    Thanks!

  • Odelia

    Thanks for the Basil Pesto recipe. I really liked the sauce. Try the sauce with Pesto Pasta with Potatoes and Green Beans, its a good match, try it out, the recipe could be found at http://bit.ly/gMZlcp

  • felicity

    Great idea to use feta for this pesto rather than the usual parmesan. We loved it! Thank you.

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