It is Friday and it is June. And just in time for the weekend and the new month, the lovely summer weather returned. Whats even better, there is a chance that we might go windsurfing tonight or tomorrow – keeping our fingers crossed. But first I thought I would finally share a recipe with you. And, of course, some photos to go along with it. Since it is summer, not officially, but by feeling, it will be a simple summer recipe. You know that we planted our herbs a couple of weeks ago and they are really taking off in this warm and wet weather we have had. Therefore it was already time to harvest some. And what is there better to do with fresh basil than making it into pesto? This yummy Italian pasta dressing.
You only have five main ingredients: Fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil, plus salt and if you like pepper. Everybody who knows me, is aware that when it comes to cooking, I am pretty bad with quantities and never write down anything, but in the end it usually turns out extremely edible and yummy.
- Basil: 4 cups
- Pine nuts: 1/3 cup
- Parmesan cheese: 1/4 cup
- 3 cloves garlic
- Olive oil: 1/2 cup
Wash the basil and let it dry. If you want to you can dry roast the pine nuts in a pan for added flavor, I usually don’t. Now put the basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic into the mortar and start crushing away with the pestle. I find the easiest way is to continually pound the ingredients in a circular motion, grinding along the walls of the mortar. Every now and then you need to collect the partly smashed ingredients from the top and push them back to the bottom and keep at it. While you are doing this start adding some of the olive oil to the mixture. But careful, not too much, because that would eliminate the grinding effect. You are finished when all ingredients are mixed together but you can still distinguish them and it has a smooth and creamy, but not runny, consistency. To finish it, simply add salt to taste. I usually also add some pepper, because we like it spicy. All that is left to do now is serve it with your favorite pasta. Traditionally you toss your cooked pasta with pesto before you serve it either in a bowl or on separate plates.
If you have some left over, do not despair. It will hold a few days, I think I had it to just over a week, in the fridge. Just make sure that you top it with olive oil to keep it from oxydizing, and generally looking ugly brownish.
Did you know that you can make the same pesto with rucola (rocket salad)? Just swap the basil for it and that is it. It is very yummy, but somewhat tastier simply because rucola is way tastier than basil. We love both varieties and make them depending on season and availability.
There you go – try it and let me know how it went. Or do you have a different recipe? I would be curious to hear about it. But for now: Have a good weekend!