Monday, August 25, 2014

Basil Walnut Pesto 罗勒/九层塔核桃青酱

The basil in our garden (picture, left) is flourishing beautifully, and it is just one basil plant. We will call it "the parent basil" for now. As he read that basil is easy to propagate from cuttings, he also tried to propagate two or three other basil plants from the cuttings of the parent basil.

"Stop!" was what I told him - to not propagate the basil as I do not use basil very often in my cooking.

Meantime, while the newly propagated basil plants are still rooting, I gotta find more ways to use the parent basil before it is "taken away" by winter in a few months time.

Without question, one of the easiest ways to use up the abundance of basil is to make pesto. I have shunned away from the expensive pine nuts and opted for walnuts for this pesto.

Basil Walnut Pesto 意式罗勒/九层塔核桃青酱
5-6 springs of basil, about 20 basil leaves in total
1 handful (~1/2 cup) of walnuts, soak in water for about 30mins or so, and dry before using (Note: instead of soaking, you can also lightly toast the walnuts)
3-4oz Parmesan or Romano cheese or combination (I have used Trader Joes combo of Parmesan, Romano, Asiago cheese)
Extra virgin olive oil, adjust quantity while making the pesto

Directions: Add all the ingredients in the food processor/blender (I have used my 4-year-old Ninja here) and pulse/blitz to grind the ingredients. After 1-2 short pulses, slowly add in olive oil, then pulse/blitz again. Repeat short pulse-olive oil cycle till an oil-based paste is formed.

I have now changed my mind. Propagate more basil please, thank you, and I wish they continue to grow crazy, beautifully.

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