O Basil! My Basil! – An Ode to Pesto

Oh, Basil! My, Basil! the dreaded wait is done;

You started as a little plant and now my gardening has won;

The kitchen is near, the food processor I hear, the pesto is forthcoming

While fellow bellies try to wait, the hungrier we’re becoming

But oh plate! plate! plate!

Oh the empty stare of white

Where on the stove our dinner cooks

Let’s hurry and eat tonight!!!

Fresh Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup packed chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp Pine Nuts
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to tase

Directions:

Using a food processor, combine chopped basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic and pine nuts.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste and blend to combine evenly.

Pesto can be used immediately over angel hair pasta, orzo, or spaghetti squash (see below).  You can add sauteed shrimp or chicken and add fresh chopped tomatoes and bacon bits for a heartier dish.  Pesto can also be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use and will keep up to 2 weeks.

Fresh Basil Tip:

It is best to keep your basil plants low so that they don’t get leggy and flower.  Basil’s flavor is at its best when it can form large compact leaves.  In order to keep your plant low it should be pruned often, which may leave you with an abundance of basil in the house.  The best way to keep fresh basil in the house is to place it in a low vase with water making sure that the leaves are out of the water.  This will help keep your basil fresh longer and ward off the black spots.  Basil can be added to most dishes by pinching a few leaves and chopping or adding whole leaves.

Spaghetti Squash Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, roasted
  • Fresh Basil Pesto
  • Fresh grated Paremesan cheese for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Place cut side down in a shallow baking dish.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Use a fork to scrape out spaghetti-like strand.  Pour warm pesto over strands and toss to coat.  Top with cheese and serve.

Serves approximately 4.

 

 

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