I planted a little herb garden some time ago, beneath a sunny front window.
Mint, thyme, oregano, parsley and basil. The herbs I use most regularly; stepping down from the deck into the dirt and picking handfuls of fragrant leaves as I need them.
Our constant warm weather had the mint growing spindly, the oregano spreading to reach the parsley and the basil becoming a small forest.
With chicken defrosted I thought basil pesto would be the perfect dinner time inspiration.
I cut off some stalks and bought them inside where Joel was given the job of picking off the leaves and counting out the cups. There is something special about using home grown produce to feed the family, that makes everyone want to be a part of. There was pouring and mixing, and tasting, and sneaking handfuls of nuts.
The scent of basil and parmesan invaded our kitchen and made our mouths water.
Making pesto isn't difficult. It is a very forgiving and versatile recipe and so very very delicious spread generously over filets of breast chicken and panfried in butter (and the possibilities are endless!).
my basil pesto
3 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup of pine nuts (or a combination of whatever nuts you choose, I used pine nuts, walnuts and cashews)
4 garlic cloves (or to taste, my cloves were rather small)
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan
sea salt & ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
blend all the ingredients except the oil until you reach a consistency you are happy with, and ingredients are chopped well. with the motor running, pour oil in in a steady stream.
scrape down the sides and ensure everything is well mixed.
This basic recipe yields a little in excess of this Bon Marche jam jar, and could easily be halved.