During our first planting party back in March we planted somewhere around 200 basil seeds. I honestly thought that they weren’t going to make it…by the time we got them into the ground in June the seedlings were just pitiful. All legs, no heart! I thought that 10 or so little basil plants per person would be just fine, and those who didn’t want basil in their plot could pick from the small community basil area that we planted, around 15 plants. What I failed to account for was the possibility that the basil would take off, get HUGE and be almost impossible to keep up with! So we have oodles and oodles of basil growing in the garden, and I have a massive ever-growing quantity of pesto in my freezer! Luckily, our Farm to Table dinner/fundraiser for the Linwood Community Daycare is coming up this weekend so we have a use for all of that pesto!
I wanted to share the recipe that I found online and used. It is nut-less because I didn’t have any and also has lemon juice, which most pesto recipes don’t call for. It is delicious! I think the lemon really adds to the flavor. I also omitted the cheese (my understanding is that it does not freeze well) and will add it when the pesto gets used.
3 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Splash of fresh lemon juice, more or less according to your taste buds
About ½ cup olive oil (or oil of your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop up the garlic until it is minced. This can be done by hand or in the blender.
Add in the basil and cheese and start to the blender. Slowly add in the olive oil while the machine is running. If you cannot add from the top of your blender, add a little at a time. Blend until smooth.
Squeeze in a little lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.
Use immediately or freeze. These are great to prepare ahead.
I froze the pesto in mass quantity, but for a supply that you can use whenever you need it it’s best to use ice cube trays and then once they’re frozen transfer the pesto “cubes” to a baggie – then you can take out how much you need whenever you need it. It’s great on pasta, in sandwiches or even by the spoonful! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I took these pictures off the internet…a pretty picture of pesto and a basil field in Hawaii. It’s not how much basil we have but it FEELS like how much basil we have ;-).