There this phenomenon going on around here where the basil in the garden, which gets loads of sun and has been kept well weeded (shocking, I know) is fairly small. The ones on the porch, on the other hand, have light only in the afternoon and are trying to turn into bushes. One of these is suceeding at a surprising rate, and I’m hoping that with the relatively little light it seems to need to be happy, we’ll be able to have a basil houseplant come Autumn.
But I digress. Basil is the food of gods, it’s hard to grow and tastes like nothing else does. We use it as a vegetable (often paired with tomato), but it’s also an herb and can be useful as a garnish. If you’re a friend of ours, it may even be part of your wedding bouquet.
There’s one problem with making pesto that I run into every year. It’s pine nuts. They’re very expensive. I suppose I could splurge on pine nuts and buy some for a batch of the stuff, but they’re over $25 per pound at the local co-op, and I make a large recipe of pesto. So I used walnuts.
Now some of you may say that it’s not pesto without pine nuts, but sometimes it’s better to follow the budget than the recipe. Considering I tend to consult a couple of recipes for something and then do something somewhat resembling them both but also somewhat different, I decided to work with walnuts.
Poor Man’s Pesto
4-6 cups gently packed basil leaves
3-5 cloves garlic
2 cups olive oil
1 cup parmesagna
1 cup romano
1/2-1 cup unchopped walnut halves
salt and pepper
Step one: Borrow your friend’s food processor with the feeder/drizzler top. Envy your friend.
Step two: starting with a little oil in the processor, add garlic, nuts, cheeze, and basil all the while blending it into a paste.
Step three: Taste.
Step four: Add some salt and pepper, and more basil.
Step five: Taste.
Step six: Add more basil.
Step seven: Repeat steps five and six until the pesto tastes like creamed basil with cheese.
Step eight: Require those you live with and then all of your coworkers to eat pesto. Feel proud of yourself.