It's definitely the fresh basil time of year here in North Texas. Our garden overfloweth and we don't even plant basil anymore since it defies it's annual nature and comes back in our garden (albeit in odd locations) each season. When the plants are reaching their apex and about to go to seed, we go out and harvest everything we can and make tons of pesto since it puts away easily and keeps well preserving some of the smells and tastes of Summer well into the Fall and Winter.
This recipe is short and sweet. We use a device called a Thermomix, but you can use a blender (in small batches), a food processor (in larger batches), or even do it by hand. We use roasted garlic because we like the extra complexities that brings to the flavor profile, but regular non-roasted garlic is just fine too. Finally, blanching the basil in salted water before chopping it makes the green color more pronounced and helps prevent oxidation during storage. This step is primarily for appearance purposes, so optional at the end of the day.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Pesto:
- 1/4 pound basil leaves, washed thoroughly
- 4 ounces pine nuts
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Chain Reaction®
- 1/2 Tablespoon Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Cattle Drive®
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, grated
Blanching the basil in salted water before chopping it makes the green color more pronounced and helps prevent oxidation during storage.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Prepare an ice water bath in a large pot. Briefly blanch the cleaned basil leaves in boiling, salted water. Just long enough to develop a deep green color. Maybe 15 seconds maximum, then quickly submerge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.
Toast the pine nuts. You're looking for golden brown, not burnt. Remember these are small nuts and require constant supervision while toasting to prevent scorching. When they are toasted, quickly remove them from the pan on which they were toasting so they don't continue to cook.
Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, and seasonings into the bowl of a Thermomix or a food processor. Process until chopped finely. Add oil and process until a thick paste forms.
Add Parmesan cheese and process just until combined. Taste and adjust for seasonings.
The sauce is ready to use as-is or may be put into jars and stored in the refrigerator for later use.
The sauce may be frozen for long term storage as well.