Almond-Basil Pesto


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Pesto makes a delicious pasta sauce, sandwich spread, or dip.

With so much basil growing in my garden this year, it was about time to make a batch.  Unfortunately a huge plate full of basil blends down to very little pesto, so make sure you have a LOT before getting started.

Ingredients:

  • LOTS of fresh basil (I used sweet basil as well as Thai basil)

    IMG 3137 300x225   Almond Basil Pesto

    Fresh picked sweet and Thai basil

  • 1/4- 1/2 C Slivered almonds (Because pine nuts are expensive and these were on sale! You can also use walnuts)
  • Olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Cheese (optional–I only had a tiny bit): Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese or similar

Combine basil, nuts, garlic, and cheese in the food processor.  Add just enough olive oil so that the ingredients blend well.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

I was unpleasantly surprised at how much olive oil is required to make a creamy pesto… but I did read a tip about using chicken broth or some other stock to achieve a similar consistency without as much oil.

IMG 3138 300x262   Almond Basil Pesto

almonds, basil, garlic in the food processor

Enjoy! This came out delicious!

IMG 3143 300x225   Almond Basil Pesto

Fresh basil pesto

 

August 13, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Ginger-Basil Simple Syrup


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My love of ginger causes me to experiment with it not only in food, but also in drinks and cocktails.
Tonight I decided to attempt a ginger simple syrup.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup thinly sliced or diced fresh ginger
handful of fresh basil
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar

ginger basil simple syrup 300x225   Ginger Basil Simple Syrup

ginger basil simple syrup

Usually simple syrup is 1 part water to 1 part sugar.  I toned it down in sweetness in order to get more ginger/basil flavoring in the syrup.  This way you can add more syrup without over-sweetening your beverage.

  • Heat the water over the stove in a small sauce pan.
  • Add ginger and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add basil and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the sugar and stir constantly.
  • You may leave the ingredients on the heat for as long as you like while the flavors soak in, so long as the sugar doesn’t burn, so add that last.
  • Remove from heat.

I put mine in a mason jar once cooled and refrigerated it.

Add a few teaspoons or tablespoons to cocktails or even food.  This may be good in or on waffles or as a sweet glaze or salad dressing.

strawberry ginger basil mint cocktail 225x300   Ginger Basil Simple Syrup

strawberry ginger basil mint cocktail

I added it to muddled strawberry, mint, and vodka (or gin) with club soda.  Yum!

June 14, 2011
Drink, Recipe