Thursday, August 4, 2016

Vacation Mega-Pesto-Make

As the E team was ramping up for their trip to Pennsylvania -- I was determined to send something that could be a part of the festivities. You already saw the personalized Bocce Ball game, and the extreme collection of fun Hawaiian shirts.

But, for me -- food is love. So the question is -- what can I send out for a meal? Something that would FEED A BIG CROWD?

It's summertime -- and the answer is P-E-S-T-O...!! I pride myself on making the best Pesto in Iowa.  (because I'm the only Iowa person I know who makes it)...

First order of business -- I picked a FIVE GALLON BUCKET OF FRESH BASIL LEAVES.  Holy Cow.  I filled the bucket with water, and picked off each leaf, putting it in a second bucket of clean water.  Then, I rinsed the basil for a THIRD TIME...before laying it in a single layer, on a clean bath towel. 
It's important to remove all sand or dirt..and pick off the flowers and want THE LEAVES ONLY.
You must handle the leaves gently, or they'll turn black. At this point, I roll the towel, to absorb all the water. I let that sit for awhile. An hour or two won't hurt...
THAT'S THE HARD PART, PEOPLE!! Really. Picking and triple washing the basil leaves took ABOUT THREE HOURS. Making the actual pesto sauce took only 30 minutes.
I know we've discussed this before. But your FOOD PROCESSOR does all the work!!
John has a bumper crop of fresh garlic. It is SO MUCH BETTER than what is available in the stores. It's juicy and CRISP. I start by putting three cloves of peeled garlic in the food processor and whirring it good...
Then, I add 1/2 cup of English Walnuts...and whir it again...
At this point, I scrape the sides (it is a thick paste). Then, fill the food processor to the top with fresh, washed, dry basil leaves. Keep whirring...and scraping...and whirring...

After the basil is completely chopped up, I alternate the last two ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive oil and Parmesan Cheese. One batch takes about a cup of each. The consistency you're going for is bottled spaghetti sauce.
I SENT THIS GIANT JAR OF PESTO SAUCE TO PENNSYLVANIA!! Honestly, it was enough for four pounds of spaghetti, which would feed everybody. All they needed to do was boil the spaghetti. And, oh yeah -- buy one of those delicious loaves of Italian bread. YUMMO...

One of the best things about Pesto sauce is that it's better the day AFTER you make it.  And it will keep at room temperature.  Actually, putting it in the refrigerator makes the oil hard, and blackens the basil. 


  1. Replies
    1. If you are on Interstate on your way home, I PROMISE YOU A PESTO DINNER!!