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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today's Produce - Basil

So, as I was reading my newest Food Network had a section on Basil!!  My basil was growing like crazy and starting to flower - which I was hoping I could cultivate the seeds from for next year...

Little did I know...when Basil flowers, it stops growing it's leaves!!! So I went out to the garden, cut off the flowers and had about 4-5 cups of Fresh Basil leaves to use up.  I saved the flowers to dry and try to use the seeds for next season...but what to do with the Basil leaves?!

I made Pesto, of course!  Below is the recipe that I used - Enjoy!!!

2 cups basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano Cheeses, freshly grated
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

1.) Combine basil and nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times.
2.) Add the garlic, and pulse a few more times.
3.) Slowly, in a constant stream, slowly add olive oil while the food processor is on.  Scrape sides as needed.
4.) Add cheese and pulse until blended.
5.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.) Serve with pasta, or spread on toasted baguette slices.

**If freezing - leave cheese out - add in when ready to use.

* When freezing (like I did today) use an ice cube tray!!  They make perfect portions for one.  Once frozen in the tray, remove and store in the freezer in an airtight container.
* Because my food processor broke : (...I used a blender on a pulse setting.  I had to scrape the sides more, but it worked out fine!!
* You can always can the pesto too - stay tuned for canning instructions and tips!

I still have a few cups of cut basil leaves left - and TONS more growing...stay tuned for more recipes or uses for this fragrant herb!

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