Monday, 14 October 2013

Basil Basil Basil

Summer 2013 has been exceptionally sunny and warm here in Dublin...

It was so nice that we had so much fun spending our days in the garden. 

We had a few jobs done in our garden just at the beginning of July. 
New grass and two big flower/vegetable beds. I planted some Mediterranean herbs in the vegetable bed: mentha, rosemary, thyme, sage and of course peperocinis and basil.

... and now, that the 'glorious' Summer is over, it's time to harvest some of these beauties and make some tasty preserves for the Winter.

Well, on Saturday I cut some of my basil plants and decided to make a lovely and very tasty Italian sauce.

I made some real 'Pesto alla Genovese'. 

I washed the basil leaves in cold running water...

... and then I left them to dry overnight on a clean kitchen towel...

Now, for the Pesto sauce, I wanted to follow the traditional recipe.

And here it is:

  • 50gr of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 a glass of olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of grated pecorino (Italian sheep cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 table spoon of pine nuts
  • a pinch of coarse sea salt


Traditionally the ingredients were combined and crushed together using a mortar and pestle. Nowadays, the easiest and quickest way to make this beautiful sauce is using a blender or a food processor.
I started with garlic and salt. Then I added my basil leaves to the paste, followed by pine nuts and grated cheeses. I poured the olive oil just at the end, little by little...

... and in no-time my beautiful Pesto alla Genovese was ready...

... the smell of basil, in my kitchen was amazing...

I put small portions of pesto in little food containers and saved them in the freezer. I will use them during the Winter to dress my pasta, or to warm up some tasty soups giving them a "touch of Summer"... Yummy!


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