Southern Summer Bounty Pesto

Both basil (ambrosia!), tomatoes, and mint grow like kudzu in the South. My chipmunk side likes to store some summer away for the winter. Pesto frozen in ice cube trays has saved my #@% for quick winter dinners (suppers, in the South).

Basic Pesto

  • 1 close garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1Tbsp grated pecorino Romano cheese

Mash garlic to a paste. Put paste and other ingredients into a Cuisinart. Blend until smooth. Poor into plastic ice cube trays. Cover with plastic – bind with rubber band. Shove in freeze. “Viola!”  Makes about 1/2 cup.

Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto

Same as above, but include :

  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried-tomato halves (Make your own. Don’t ask me how.).
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 plum tomato (about 4 ounces) blanched, peeled, and seeded


Parsley and Mint Pesto

If you don’t grow mint, someone you know does and would be delighted to get rid of some.

  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. crumbled ricotta salata
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Blanch almonds (look it up, I can’t do EVERYTHING for you). Let cool. Grind garlic and salt into a paste. Add 1/3 almonds, parsley, mint, basil, and olive oil. Grind to a paste. Add another 1/3 of ingredients. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Stir in ricotta salata and pepper. Makes 3/4 cup.  Freeze in ice trays as above.

Now don’t you feel like Ma in “Little House on the Prairie” storing food for the winter? Enjoy.  CalGal


One Comment

  1. Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    HI there. I saw the link at MikeB’s and thought I would check in.

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