Shelley, our dog-sitter, called me in a panic last week. “Cindy, the basil in our garden has gone crazy this year. Did you, by any chance, save the recipe for homemade pesto that I sent you way back when?”
“Yes, I remember the recipe. I’ve never made it because basil doesn’t grow very well for me here in Houston. But, I generally save the recipes that come to me via e-mail. I’ll check my inbox and call you back,” I replied.
“Hey, Shelley, I found the recipe buried in my “inbox recipe file” dated, November 2012,” I chuckled.
Shelley was thrilled. “Will you shoot a copy of the recipe over to me? I’ll be glad to bring you some fresh basil as a thank you for being a recipe hoarder,” she said laughing.
“I’ve not made pesto from scratch before but I’m willing to give it a whirl, it can’t be too difficult.” I said.
The next day I found a huge bouquet of basil on my front porch. It smelled heavenly. The stems were like tiny tree branches with leaves the size of a maple leaf. I’ve never seen such impressive basil. “What’s your secret to growing such beautiful basil plants?” I asked Shelley.
She said it’s a no-burn product called Osmocote, that she uses liberally on everything in her garden along with lots of water. I bought the largest container of Osmocote our local nursery had on hand.
My pesto turned out amazing. I froze it in ice cube trays to use as needed and so I won’t waste one single bite of it. Yum!
Presto Homemade Pesto
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1-cup fresh basil
1-sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 cup nuts (use either walnuts or pine nuts)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
Throw all these goodies into a food processor or blender and chop until it’s a fine paste. Add a bit more olive oil if it looks dry.
Yield: 14 frozen cubes