|An abundance of basil at the garden plot…about double the amount awaited us at the house.|
You can apply this blog post’s concept at almost any level: cut and harvest at the peak of freshness and flavor, and m-a-x-i-m-i-z-e. Right after clipping, we headed to Whole Foods and picked up the necessary ingredients for pesto: olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano (both shredded and powdered). We already had plenty of parsley, sea salt, and pepper at the house, so we were set.
|Basil and parsley, after grating in the food processor.|
A lot of friends ask me for our pesto recipe, but in all sincerity, the “recipe” always consists of whatever we have the most of, at the time of the pesto-making. Pesto is a balance of green notes, cheese, oil, salt, and pepper. Your sense of balance may be completely different than my sense of balance. I dare you to take those components, blend slowly, and taste along the way. You will find that you are liberated from a strict recipe format.
|Processed basil, parsley, oil, cheese, salt, and pepper.|
Although I am refusing to provide a specific recipe, I will give a few tidbits of advice, as you embark upon your journey…
- Process your parsley and basil first.
- Scoop into a bowl and add some olive oil, and simply to blend the two (for you die-hard recipe followers, maybe adding a 1/2 cup would be a good start).
- Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add both shredded and powdered Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The powdered form helps integrate the oil and parsley-basil components, and the shredded form adds texture. Again, toss it in and experiment!
- Add peeled, chopped garlic. Per two cups of leaf matter, add one clove of garlic. You garlic freaks can add another clove here…
- Revisit and season (with salt and pepper) to your taste.
- Add any olive oil. Seriously, you can’t add too much. More olive oil provides a lighter texture, and less provides a “chunkier” texture.
|Our finished product: “Pesto, Four Ways”: Pesto served with blanched zucchini, green beans, and onions; pulled pork; blanched, julienned Swiss Chard; and caramelized onions and garlic.|