When Q first came back from his deployment and he settled into our apartment, one of the first things he had talked about doing was planting herbs. The challenge with living in Alaska is that we have all of 4 months of good weather, which means we have 4 solid months to grow herbs. So we talked to my mom (the green thumb) and went to our local nursery. We wanted to start out simply (nothing we couldn’t handle or could kill easily). We started off with 2 pesto basil plants, 1 regular basil plant, 1 oregano plant, 1 thyme plant and chives. So far, we’ve been lucky. Nothing’s died and everything’s flourished with our minimal knowledge of plant care.
So on to the pesto. We bought two pesto basil plants since Q and I love making our own pesto. We usually make pesto using leaves from our pesto basil plants, but occasionally we use half regular basil leaves and half pesto basil leaves (a little different taste). Our recipe makes around 1 cup of pesto. The consistency of our pesto is great for a sauce (not too thick). You can use a little less olive oil (say 1/2 cup instead of 2/3) to make more of a pesto paste than sauce. Totally up to you.
What I love about this pesto? Easy! It’s made in a blender (easy clean up)! And because it’s so easy, it’s always a staple in our fridge. I could eat pesto on everything: pasta, chicken, pizza, veggies, you name it.
Basic Basil Pesto
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 cups packed basil
- 1/8 cup water
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a blender, blend together olive oil and garlic for 15 seconds until no large pieces remain. Turn off blender and add in parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper and blend until combined. With the blender running, add in basil leaves handful by handful, add water and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, one pinch at a time until desired taste.