Oregano and basil pesto

One of the best things about growing a garden is having fresh herbs at your doorstep. Sometimes those herbs can take over though and you need to make something that requires a bit more than just a snip off the top. Pesto is perfect for this. Most people have had or at least know of basil pesto, but did you know you can make pesto from almost anything green and yummy. You can use scapes, chickweed, spinach, parsley etc. or any combination of herbs/greens. It’s also a great free form dish, you can use the proportions that work best for you. Here is a basic recipe to get you started.

  • 1 Cup of washed, spun and trimmed fresh oregano (I used greek, but try Italian or mexican if that’s what you have)
  • 8 medium-large basil leaves (I used genovese but maybe you might like to try sweet thai or purple)
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 Cup of roasted pine nuts (A lot of recipes I’ve seen use walnuts, one even used pistachios)
  • 2-3 medium to large garlic cloves
  • 4 tbs. of good extra virgin olive oil

Gather up the herbs you want to use, about a fistful of oregano came out to be about perfect when broke down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wash your plants in a sink of water by quickly swishing them around and then remove them.I don’t like them to be in the water to long I feel like they get water logged if they sit. Remove and use your spinner of choice. Personally I like to put them in a clean tea towel and spin them myself (outside of course).

Pan toast your pine nuts. If you don’t they have a raw taste which isn’t so appealing. Grate your parm. Cut the root ends off the garlic cloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the herbs, cheese, nuts and garlic in a food processor or mortar and pestle. If you use a mortar and pestle, chop your herbs a little before adding them. It helps them break down better. Also a high walled porcelain mortar is best for this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drizzle in the oil while ponding or pulsing your food processor. Blend till you reach your desired consistancy. That’s pretty much it. One of the easiest things in the world to make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can use it on pasta, roasted veggies, as a dressing for meats or whatever takes your fancy.

What do you use pesto for? Have any unusual pesto recipes/stories?

Happy eating

Beth Revels

Comments

  1. I’ve made pan seared pork chop with pesto and chicken pasta and veggie pasta with the amount I made for the article. I have a picture up of the chop on my blog.
    http://aselfmadelife.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-wanted-to-share-with-you-article-i.html
    Please share any pesto pictures you have. Also let us know if you experiment with a new herb, nut or cheese and how it turns out.

  2. Thanks Beth for the great directions. i love pesto pizza! It’s like eating the garden only warm. We like to make pesto with feta cheese instead of parmesan sometimes for a nice change of flavors. Happy gardening.

    • You are so welcome Bonnie. Thanks for reminding me about pesto pizza. I haven’t had that in awhile. I’m going to be making some scape pesto and I bet that would make a yummy pizza. Have you ever made pizza on the grill. It’s a good time of year to do so, it keeps the house from heating up to much. I’m thinking feta, garlic, mushroom and asparagus grilled pizza. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  3. I love fresh homemade pesto!!! What a great job of breaking it down. . . can’t wait to use this one on the grill tonight!!! Thanks for the great recipe Beth!!