Thursday, July 09, 2009

1-2-3 Pesto!

Basil Patch
So I am sitting there in the garden, enjoying the sun and breeze, reading my book, and I look up and see Dave weeding.

O dear.
I love that he is weeding but I fear for his choices about what-is-a-weed. I put down my book and join him in the task. It is theraputic, and the results are definitely worth it. I saved several real plants, and now we can see that we have bushes, which were quite obscured by the previous invaders.
At that time I noted that the basil had really grown back from my first harvest and I had better do something about it soon or it will go to seed and all will be tough and fibrous. So instead of cutting it now, I went inside and made two batches of bread dough. One will make a huge pizza and the other will make a loaf of pesto spiral bread. Yum.
Letting it rise is a job for the lawn chairs by the pond. I have covered each mixing bowl with plastic and a towel and since it is too cool in the house, the sunny spot by the pond will do the trick and help the dough reach its full potential.
I grow parsley to add to the basil to stretch it for pesto, but the parsely isn't keeping up with the basil so I will use purchased spinach instead. It works great. Here's the recipe.
Handfulls of basil leaves and stems, washed
Spinach to match or parsley instead, whatever, also washed.
Three huge cloves of garlic, peeled
Put all in the food processor, streaming in extra virgin olive oil to lubricate and making into a creamy mix.
Turning off the processor, toss in handfuls of shredded parmesan cheese, pulsing the processor to just mix. Add more olive oil if necessary.
That's it. For the Pesto spiral bread, I rolled out the bread dough, spread it will a nice layer of pesto, and carefully rolled it into a loaf. I let it rise until way double in size, spray it will water, dust it with salt and sesame seeds and bake it on a cooky sheet in a preheated oven at 450 for 30 minutes.
We cut it half and froze it, keeping the other half for immediate eating. Yum.


  1. OMG that sounds good! Wish I could figure out a way to squeeze that in between canning salsa and pickles this weekend!

  2. Yum...what time is dinner?

  3. The bread sounds amazing! And I hadn't thought of stretching the basil with some spinach - will definitely try that one! Thanks bunches - Patte

  4. I'd never thought of using walnuts in pesto -- much more economical than the pine nuts my recipe calls for; and more importantly more often in my cupboard without a special trip to the store! :-)

  5. Great recipe!! I giggled when I read the caption under your photo today. I was imagining a crusty old English gent called Sir Basil Patch! "I say, I say, old thing, you have some ripping ideas for what do with your herbs! Jolly good show, pip pip, cheerio!" and all that English chatter:)

  6. Hmmmm, love pesto! On broccoli, on tomatoes, on sandwiches...

  7. Great recipe, thank you for that. I usually put pine nuts in mine but walnuts sound delicious. I will have to wait for summer though, my parsely is growing like a weed everywhere but it is too cold for basil.


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