Homemade Pesto

If you’ve been following along, you may recall me expressing skepticism as to what I was going to do with all the basil that is growing in our garden. You  then too probably recall the resulting laundry list of ways to use basil I received from my sister, the world traveller, cook and honorary family herbalist (yes it’s a real thing, no I didn’t know the term before I just googled it).

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what has become of said basil. Which is good because this post is about its fate.

Answer: We made PESTO and it was delicious!

We have three types of basil in the garden this year: regular (sweet) basil, lemon basil and purple basil. I will be the first one to admit that this was somewhat of a mistake as I do not like raw basil off the plant. At all. The purple is more bitter than the others, but to me all just taste bad raw. So the conundrum of what to do with it all plagued me.

Pesto was one of the first items on the list. And it seemed simple enough. Here’s what I did:

  1. Detach leaves from stems and stuff leaves into a food processor. I used both sweet and purple basil.
  2. Process leaves on “chop” until a thick pulp forms
  3. Add spices. This batch contained:
    1. Minced garlic
    2. Coriander
    3. Sea salt
    4. A pinch of Paprika
  4. Process mixture on “puree” until blended

You’ll notice two things. First, there are no measurements. Partly because the measurements depend on the amount of basil you have. Partly because I never measure spices. Second, there is no oil in this phase. Read on…

The recipe above makes a concentrated pulp. Rather than committing to a single oil, I wanted to see how various oils worked with the flavor. The purple basil has more of a bitter taste, so the first combination was with coconut oil.

Sauce for 1
1-2 TBSP Pesto Mixture
1 TBSP Coconut Oil

The beauty of creating the concentrated mixture is that you can constitute it with whatever oil and for whatever amount you’re cooking, from “dinner for 2” to a potluck dish.

I’m not sure if the pesto tasted amazing because of my initial skepticism, but seeing as it was still delicious on the third round of use, I’m sold on this use. The flavor was fresh without being “earthy” and it gave the dish a light flavor without being the main attraction (or distraction).

Easy, simply, versatile, scalable and DELICIOUS. This is a winner, and new staple!

Pesto was mixed into a cooked cabbage mixture of cabbage, mushrooms and shredded chicken. Served cold.