Seasonal Recipe: Basil Pesto

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With cooler Autumn days on the horizon, you may have noticed that your Basil plants are reaching their peak or going to seed.  Basil Pesto is a wonderful way to ensure the leaves are turned into a yummy food staple with multiple uses.

Sweet or Genovese Basil Lush and Going to Seed

Genovese or Sweet Basil Plant

Basil plants are a valuable herb in the garden as they are a perfect companion to tomatoes and other fruiting plants due to their integrated pest management uses and fly repelling properties. They are easy to grow in the right climate and have a long picking season. They are interestingly one of the few herbs that intensifies in flavour when cooked.

 Basil and Tomatoes are great Companion Plants

Basil and Tomatoes Are Happy Companions

Basil Varieties

Sweet or Genovese Basil is the most common basil we see in supermarkets and is easy to grow in Spring and Summer months as it loves warm conditions.  If you pick the leaves regularly, provide some consistent TLC and live in a frost free area you can keep your annual Basil plant around for a few years.

There are many Basil varieties.  Perennial varieties include Greek, Perennial and Holy.  Some of the annual varieties are Lemon, Lime, Thai, Sweet and Purple.  They are all yummy pesto ingredients.

Basil Pesto Uses

A valuable use for your Basil glut is to make Basil pesto.  It can be used as a dip, a condiment to eggs, a spread on bread and to add elevated flavour to pasta, salads, roast veggies, mash or meats.  

 Basil Pesto Dip on a Cracker in Bowl

Basil Pesto is a delicious dip with crackers or veggie sticks

Have a go at making the following tried, tested and what is a very loved recipe in Jo's household.  It is based on a Thermomix recipe.

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large Garlic clove
  • 40g fresh Basil leaves
  • Small handful of fresh Parsley
  • 160g Unsalted Cashews
  • 80g Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese

 

Fresh Basil Leaves and Cashew Ingredients for Basil Pesto 

Method

Place all ingredients into a food processor or bowl and blitz for 5-10 seconds so that you have a rough but evenly chopped mixture.  Job done!

So how did you go?  We would love to hear about the ways you have used this pesto in your cooking. Please leave your comments below. 

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