Anyway, over Labor Day weekend, I got a bunch of fresh basil from the Farmers' Market in downtown Greenville, and I was determined to make a big batch of traditional Genovese pesto. After scouring the internet for recipes, I found that what our waitress said was true, most traditional Genovese pestos consist of basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano, and pecorino romano cheese. (Although not all the recipes I found called for pecorino, some just used parm, but I wanted to follow the instructions of our waitress exactly...some of the recipes I found also said to use salt, so I opted not to include that per her direction). The recipe I used was basically a mixture of a bunch of the recipes I found online, I wanted to make a huge batch, so I just increased the quantities of most of the recipes I found:
- 10 cups of fresh basil, stems removed (this how much I got from 2 large bunches)
- 8-9 cloves fresh garlic (I may have gone a tad overboard on the garlic, Cam and I both love it, but I think that I could have used a little less)
- 1 1/2 cups of pine nuts (It's definitely worth the money to use pine nuts instead of walnuts or any other substitution if you're trying to make authentic pesto, totally worth the $30 Whole Foods charged me for 2 small containers)
- 3/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 3/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
- 1 1/2 cups of good olive oil (add more if it seems dry)
Cam and I had some of the pesto over pasta that night, and it was excellent! Not quite the same as eating it on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, but pretty darn close. Over Labor Day weekend, in addition to buying basil, I actually bought some prepared pesto from one of the local farms and we had that a few days ago and it was very tasty as well. (I told you we are on a pesto kick!) Since I made such a large batch of my pesto, I wanted to freeze it to have later on, and upon doing a little research, I stumbled across a very handy way to freeze pesto-in an ice cube tray! Instructables (a favorite website of Cam's actually) had a post about freezing pesto in an ice cube tray (and ironically the post included a pesto recipe from the Produce Station in Ann Arbor, small world). I put all my remaining pesto in to a Ziploc bag, and then cut a corner and piped it into the ice cube tray (there's a pic of my finished creation at the beginning of this post). I covered the trays with plastic wrap and I was surprised how quickly they froze up. Now when we want to have pesto, I can just pop out 2 cubes and have a quick and easy meal anytime. But my guess is it won't last long, as our obsession with pesto doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon...