We planted A LOT of basil this year and were rewarded with small bushes in some areas of super fragrant and happy basil plants. We enjoyed it in quite a few dishes throughout the summer, but now that it is fall and the plants were starting to show that the colder weather was having an effect on them, it was time to take them out and make some delicious pesto. I never realized how easy it was!
- 1 cup of basil
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Pinch of salt (coarse is best, but any will do)
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)
- 1/4 cup nuts (optional)
*Note – the above amounts can be adjusted based on preference. The measurements are mostly to give you an idea of ratios for the ingredients.
Simple – put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until it is the consistency you would like. Then serve as desired.
I used an ice cube tray that make those large square (fancy-pants) ice cubes to freeze 2 person portions of the pesto. I then put the portions into a freezer bag and pull it as I need it.
Chit Chat Portion
There are so many adjustments that can be made for flavour. We had a lot of basil, so I knew this batch would be a basil pesto, but I still wanted to add some sundried tomatoes from the garden in there since I had some and knew it would add to the flavour. Next time I will make sure to have more sundried tomato ready so that I can make a sundried tomato pesto, where the majority of the base is the tomatoes instead. Have the option of both.
As you can see from the photos above, I added cashews to the pesto. Pine nuts are stupidly expensive, and I had cashew on hand, so I used them instead. I think I would continue to use the cashews in the future. They added a nice flavour and texture to the pesto and didn’t completely break the bank. If you have nut allergies, you can skip the nuts altogether and still end up with a beautifully flavoured pesto.
Some other additions that I may add in the future is some small slices of our cayenne peppers to give it a little kick. I am not sure how much I would want to add because I wouldn’t want it too spicy. Just a bit to infuse some of that delicious flavour.
I don’t think I will be buying pesto for a bit. I am pretty sure I will need to before this time next year, but the amount that I was able to make should hold us over for a bit. Next year we are going to plant a lot more basil so that we can have another good batch of pesto. We will have to do more than this last year though because I will be making small batches as soon as we can next summer, but also want enough for a larger batch that will be stored for winter use.
Stay tuned for another great basil recipe that is super simple, but packs a punch and will wow your guests.