When I was deciding on which herbs to grow in my little garden I was probably most excited about the prospect of having plenty of cilantro on hand for my corn, avocado and lime salsa, however, this has changed and I cannot believe how much I am enjoying having a constant supply of fresh basil.
To be honest basil was not something I cooked with very often pre-garden. It was expensive to buy in the stores, I never used it all and the dried stuff just does not compare. But now that I have the plants in the backyard and I can harvest how much (or how little) I want at a time, I've found myself using it a whole lot.
It was so easy! It took minutes in the food processor and my finished result was way better than store bought and also WAY cheaper!
Simple, Classic Pesto
2 cups of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 heaping tablespoons of walnuts (or pine nuts)
1-3 cloves of garlic (depending on your love of garlic)
-Put everything in the food processor except for the olive oil and nuts. Process until smooth-ish.
-Add oil slowly until desired consistancy.
-Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!
After I made the pesto I decided to re-create the dish I use to make in high school. It doesn't have a name but here is how I made it! This usually serves around four to six people depending on appetites...
Tomato, Pesto and Herb Pasta
1/2 a medium onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans of diced tomatoes (mine were Italian flavored)
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano chopped finely
2 tablespoons of fresh basil chopped finely
1/2 of the pesto you made earlier
1/2 box of pasta - cooked (a heartier pasta is suggested & gluten-free if needed)
-Saute the onion in a pan with the olive oil and garlic.
-Add in the tomatoes and herbs and cook until heated through
-Add in the pesto and stir until completely incorporated