This is the exact time of the year that we should all be out at our local farmer’s markets and fruit & veggie stands. Abundance like this only happens once a year and we need to take advantage of it while it lasts.
I was at a local spot this week and I found a great deal on fresh basil. Huge bunches of basil, roots still attached, for $2 each. I bought two bunches and promptly made the basil pesto recipe from The Harrow Fair Cookbook – 3 times. After freezing five 1-cup portions, I had enough left to make grilled tomato, pesto and bocconcini sandwiches – worth the trouble of making pesto!
Makes 2 cups (500 mL).
4 cups (1 L) firmly packed fresh basil
½ cup (125 mL) pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp (5 mL) fine sea salt
1 cup (250 mL) extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) grated parmesan cheese
Finely chop the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor.
Pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while the motor is still running.
Add the cheese and pulse until combined.
Add more olive oil, if necessary, to achieve a thick, smooth consistency.
This pesto is at its best when freshly made, but when topped with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.