There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh basil pesto, especially when you grow the basil yourself!
Here is the magnificent basil-making Aerogarden. Because I *love* basil so much, this will be going year-round if I can.
The Aerogarden is a water based system so there is no messy soil and it has its own grow light which means we can grow anywhere, anytime.
It only takes four weeks to go from placing the seeds to a bounty of basil.
We harvest the basil before it flowers. It can get bitter once it flowers. And, I feel the same way about spinach. I always use baby spinach leaves instead of regular spinach leaves which can also be very bitter.
There wasn’t enough basil to make a full 8 ounces of leaves so I supplemented with spinach leaves.
I cut all the leaves from the tough stems before processing. You don’t want the stem in your pesto. It’s not going to break down as quickly as the leaves and I wasn’t ready for all that roughage. There is such a thing as too much fiber! I draw the line at stems.
As you can see, the pesto is a nice bright green, unlike the darker color when you buy it in a jar. That’s the difference between fresh, raw pesto and the pesto that is cooked for preservation in the jar. Such a beautiful color and it adds such a pleasant touch to any dish when the color is so bright.
I literally ate several spoons of this by itself before reluctantly putting it in the jar and putting it in the refrigerator. I plan on using half of it with pasta and diced chicken. I’ll use the other half as the sauce on a pizza. Yum!
Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe
- Food processor
- 1/2 cup Pine nuts
- 8 ounces Basil and Baby Spinach leaves washed and pat dry
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper ground
- Place the chopping blade in the food processor and process the pine nuts until finely chopped.
- Add enough basil and spinach leaves to fill the processor bowl and process until finely chopped. Continue adding more leaves to bowl to process further, until all leaves are in the bowl and processed.
- Remove the pusher from the sleeve at the top of the processor and while the blade is still processing, slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Add Parmesan cheese and pepper and pulse lightly until well mixed.