Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of Summer Harvest: Basil Pesto

pesto tart

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!

20 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

These are so beautiful and elegant - I'm going to make these for my Italian ladies' group. I was just staring at all my basil and saying to myself "It's time for pesto-making." Today's the day.

Penny said...

This is such a visually pleasing appetizer and looks so easy. I am adding it to my recipe file. Thanks Stacey.

Justin said...

yum... pesto saved for the winter. you know, i've never tried freezing it myself!

VeggieGirl said...

Gorgeous, classic, and delicious!

StaceyEsq said...

I just made a promise to myself -- never to visit your website when I'm hungry. Then again, when am I NOT hungry? So, it's been nice knowing you . . . :-)

Lovely tart! The food looks pretty good, too. Love ya, Stacela!

Bob said...

Ok, that puff pasty puffing up around the filling is just awesome. Course, I'm easily amused. Heh.

I wish I could get basil to grow in my apartment, I don't have a yard (or even a porch)so I can't garden.

The Food Hunter said...

Those little tarts are so cute. I've never seenthem like that...I need to take a closer look in the grocery store.

doggybloggy said...

pretty and perfect in fact pretty perfect!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Stacey, those tomato tarts look like they came from a French Patisserie they are so gorgeous. Tres chic.
Sam

The Japanese Redneck said...

Very pretty. Love the colors. Also, bet they were good.
Ramona

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love the idea of yhis tart! They are beautiful.

Lexie said...

Those tarts look amazing! Put pesto on pretty much anything and I will like it. I have never made my own pesto, but need to try out your recipe soon. My neighbor just gave me a basil plant and now I know what I will do with it :)

~~louise~~ said...

What a GREAT recipe Stacey. I've been on an eggplant grilling kick for a week now. I'll be trying this one for sure!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Soon I'll be making pesto too, I think I might try walnuts this time!
You know I'm loving your tarts. That's an understatement!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marika Ujvari said...

Beau...ti...ful...!
As always, Stacey amazed us with another winner. I have over 200 cookbooks, but the bulging Stacey Folder wins hands down. Love this tart!!!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

As you already know, I made pesto out of the last meager crop of summer basil. I'm weeping for summer, just like you. I have these exact puff pastry shells, waiting for a brilliant way to use them. You are so good at making pretty food.

Elra said...

Very elegant and pretty. Love this one Stacey. Tomato, pesto, these are my family favorite.
Should be able to make it this week-end. I always made your simple and delicious recipe for the week-end, and never had a chance to take photo. My family is impatient in that regard. As soon as the dish done, they just want to eat it. I should try to make your dish during the week, my husband at work and my son busy with his own thing...

Kat said...

These look wonderful. I am always keeping my eye open for different appetizers and these will be added to the list.

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