On Saturday, I picked up a fairly large bunch of basil at the Jean Talon Market. Unfortunately, I realized tonight after dinner that it was already starting to go bad. Boo! I had been planning on making pesto tomorrow, but decided to do it tonight instead, in the hopes that at least some of the leaves would still be good.
In the end, I managed to salvage about 1/2 cup of packed basil leaves. So I used this recipe, courtesy of a friend, but quartered all the amounts. Well, more or less. I just threw in a small handful of walnuts (instead of pine nuts), because I couldn’t be bothered with figuring out how much a tablespoon and a half worked out to. Also, I added some parsley, because I’d picked it up for the express purpose of using it in the pesto, and I’ll be damned if I don’t use it just because the recipe doesn’t call for it.
This was one of those “Goldilocks” cooking problems: with the amount I had, there really wasn’t enough to work properly in my main food processor, but it was just a touch on the “too much” side for the little one that Marc’s parents gave us. (The bowl on that is about 3 cups, so when the half-cup of packed basil was unpacked, it took up the whole bowl and it took a little while for the leaves on top to get chopped.)
In the end, it turned out tasty. Maybe not quite as much a paste as in the picture, but still fairly paste-like. The parmesan cheese helped a lot. It was pretty bland before I added that. All told, I got about a half-cup of pesto out of my half-cup of packed basil leaves. Which, given that the recipe says 2 packed cups of leaves yields one cup of pesto, might mean I was packing them too much and consequently didn’t add enough of the other ingredients, but such is life.
It’s tasty. I’m not sure it was worth the effort or if I’ll make it again, but it’s certainly tasty.
On a related note: Anyone know how long pesto will last in the fridge?