I have a friend at work named Marjorie. Marjorie and I have the same birthday. June 27th. Go ahead and get a pen to write that down, I’ll wait.
I’m not exactly sure how this tradition started, but now every year on “her” birthday I make her pesto ( “tradition” means it’s kind of expected). Last year, it was told by another coworker that Marjorie ate her pesto with a spoon right out of the jar. This year, she said she did put it on crackers. She loves her some pesto!!
And so do I!! I did have to make Marjorie wait until the basil was ready which wasn’t until this past holiday weekend.
I have also sowed another packet of seeds which are coming up nicely
and then today I sowed another packet. Here in Texas, we will be having “warm” days up until September, sometimes even into October. So we will have lots of perfect days for basil and we will need them because it takes four cups of basil leaves
to make 6 oz. of pesto. Yep, that’s the bad news. But the good news is, it whips up in no time. Here is the recipe I use and it came from a back issue (and that means years ago) of Cooking Light. I have tried several pesto recipes but I always come back to this one. So, don’t worry Marj.
4 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (or walnuts), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
With the food processor running, add garlic and pine nuts through the chute until finely minced. Add oil; pulse 3 times. Then add basil, cheese, and salt; Process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl once. I recycle my pimiento jars (4 oz.) for the pesto.
I also have a couple of other ways I put up all that basil. Sometimes, the pesto can get a little pricey and so I make this.
Process 4 cups loosely packed basil leaves and 1 cup olive oil or (this is what I do most often) the basil with 1 - (8 ounce) can tomato sauce in a food processor until basil is finely chopped. Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop out the cubes and store in freezer bags up to 6 months. I use these in soups and sauces. This recipe I got from Southern Living magazine March 2004.
I have lots more ways to use basil, so stay tuned for the next crop.