I have always loved homemade pesto. It just seems like the perfect summer thing to make that will last in the freezer all winter. In my younger years when I use to cater back in the Berkshires, I would grow rows and rows of basil in our garden and make boatloads of pesto. We would make pesto salads, pizza topping, pesto chicken, pesto meatballs, marinade- the options are endless. Check out the following link for more great peso recipes. I also love to place fresh pesto in ice tray cubes, freeze and then pop in a freezer bag to have small portions ready for an evening meal. A little pesto goes a long way so you will be amazed how long a jar or bag of cubes will last.
In the past, I would always make each batch of pesto a little different. Sometimes I would add more pine nuts, more garlic and more basil- never following a recipe. Last summer I suddenly realized that pesto pairs really well with eggs. My favorite combination is a piece of delicious grain toast, topped with some eggs and pesto. The flavors just burst in your mouth and the textures a perfect combination for a wholesome farm to table breakfast at the inn. One of my favorite cookbooks is Huckleberry, a bakery in California. The author Zoe Nathan is quite talented, and I love to make everything in her cookbook. After making her pesto recipe I don’t think I’ll ever make any other combination for my pesto. It’s a perfect combination of lemon, garlic and parmesan cheese.
This year the basil came and went very quickly in our country garden. I made a few batches of pesto for the freezer but realized it was not enough to last us until next spring. This past week I was tickled to see huge, healthy pots of basil at our BJ’s and they were very reasonable prices. I purchased 4 pots and have been busy making pesto for the inn.
Every time I come across a really great recipe I want to share it with our guests and readers. Trust me- this recipe is a keeper!
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
- ⅔ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley
- 1 Tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Beside it, set up a medium bowl with ice water. Blanch the basil leaves in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking. Shake off the water and place in a paper towel to squeeze out all of the extra water. Set aside in your blender. Combine ⅓ of the olive oil in a saucepan with the whole garlic cloves and cook over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Refrigerate until cooled completely. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooled garlic and oil with the blanched basil, parmesan cheese, parsley, remaining ⅓ olive oil, pine nuts and the salt. Blend until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir in by hand. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.
Hard to believe that fall is almost upon us. This next week is the first time that we have availably during the week. Come stay with us and experience our delicious farm to table breakfasts that we are known for. If you love pesto as much as I do, just let us know and we’ll be sure to have some for your stay at the Captain Freeman Inn– our little slice of heaven on Cape Cod.