Every spring I sow my own basil on our south-facing covered balcony… the ideal location, as it hates rain and cool nights, and LOVES sun! I sow at regular intervals of 3 or 4 weeks to ensure that I always have some young aromatic leaves. And what do you do with all this basil, you may ask?
Recently we’ve been eating it twice or even three times a week to finish off the basil, as it loses its aroma as soon as the nights get cool. I tried freezing the prepared pesto last autumn, but it loses its flavour and was only really fit to be mixed in to another dish. (Okay, I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to pesto!)
Basil Pesto (all approximate quantities)
2 cups basil, leaves only
25g pine nuts
5 or 6 cashew nuts
salt and pepper
2 or 3 cloves garlic (fresh if possible)
¾ cup grated vegetarian parmesan
mild olive oil
Wash and drain basil. Put in mixer with nuts, garlic and a little oil. Blend.
Add seasoning and parmesan, and more oil. Blend again. Taste. Add more oil or blend further to create the consistency you prefer.
Most people eat it with spaghetti, but we prefer it with tortiglioni.