End of Summer Harvest: Basil Pesto
Summer is almost over, boo hoo.
I still have a lot of basil left in the garden, so I make pesto for the freezer for the leaner months that lie ahead.
It's simple and you don't have to stick to an exact recipe.
You can change the amount of cheese, oil, and nut measurements to suit your taste.
I also like to use walnuts sometimes instead of pine nuts to change it up.
I like my pesto thick like a paste, so I tend to use less oil than most. You can always add more oil before using it.
Basil Pesto Recipe:
2 cups of basil leaves
1/4 cup of pine nuts or walnuts
1/4-1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
Process all ingredients in a food processor to desired consistency, then add oil at the end. You can also hand mix the oil in if you like.
Pesto freezes well in small air tight containers.
Here is a great way to use pesto for something other than pasta.
Stacey's Eggplant Pesto & Tomato Tarts: makes 6 individual tarts
6 Pepperidge Farm individual puff pastry shells, defrosted
grilled baby (Japanese or Italian) eggplant slices
crumbled goat cheese (or grated parmesan or mozzarella)
1-2 plum tomatoes sliced
a few dabs of basil pesto
Cut out the little top rounds of the puff pastry shells and discard.
Spoon a little pesto on the bottom of the pastry, then top with the cheese you are using.
Next layer some eggplant over the cheese, and top with a thin slice of Roma tomato.
Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 400F.
The puff pastry shells will puff up and surround the filling making nice little puff pastry bowls for your filling.
Top with a dab of pesto and garnish with a basil leaf.
These are always a big hit!