I’ve been growing a supermarket-purchased basil plant for a few months, nurturing it carefully on the kitchen window-sill. More recently I was aiming to make some pesto using it.
Tonight came the time to slay it in cold blood, or at least cut about half of it out! I filled the food processor bowl with leaves (not the stalks, just the leaves) and added a little bit of olive oil, some sea-salt, a crunch of pepper, and a handful of pine nuts. Wazzed it all up, chucked it in among the pasta and browned chicken, and it was lovely. Nicky was quite worried it’d be too strong but it was much better than the jar stuff you get in supermarkets.
The food processor thing wasn’t the entire story – the main bowl in the Kenwood didn’t get it down to the fine consistency I coveted, nor did the liquidiser. Finally I resorted to the hand-blender which didn’t quite do the job but at least made it a lot finer.
Traditionalists please note: it probably wasn’t proper pesto either since apparently you need garlic. I had no garlic bulbs in (fx: sound of jaw hitting floor) but it was lovely nontheless.
Half the basil bush made a few tablespoons of pesto, enough for two plates of pasta/pesto/chicken. That’s better than I was hoping – many recipes or guides suggest you need a whole basil bush for one plateful of pasta.