As soon as my basil plants start to flower I prune them back to ensure it keeps producing more leaves. In doing so, I am left with an excess load of basil. So I decided to make a basil pesto following Jamie Oliver’s Recipe. This recipe is different from the usual and involves using a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor. This method does involve more time and effort but the end result is worth it.
The basic ingredients for a basil pesto involves the following:
- Pine Nuts or Almonds (toasted)
- Parmesan Chesse
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper
Adding lemon juice is optional but I always add it to my pesto as it balances out the strong flavour of Extra Virgin Olive oil. I usually just play around with the above ingredients until it reaches my desired taste.
In comparison to making pesto in a food processor the end result is much more flavoursome (afterall you are crushing all the basil by hand) and you won’t be left with a mushy basil pesto at all.
If you want to try something new, I would recommend trying this method to make your next basil pesto. Your feedback is always welcomed.
When your basil starts to resemble a bush you know its time for pruning but with pruning comes an excess supply of fresh basil and the question remains, what should i do with this. In the end you have a choice of pestoing it, freezing it, preserving it, adding it to a pasta sauce or using it to garnish a dish.
When the idea of Basil Oil popped up I thought it would be extremely difficult and the tutorials on youtube showed ice baths, straining it through a dish cloth and all sorts of difficult things. The end result was slightly too green for me so i decided to google Basil INFUSED Olive oil. After reading several websites I decided I was ready to start after what did i have to lose? A few basil leaves?
I decided to chop all the basil by hand because i didn’t want it to become mush in the food processor. I heated a basil olive oil mixture then allowed it too cool and sit. Then I strained the mixture into a jar.
However it wasn’t so simple.. there is always havoc in the kitchen and a little accident caused water to be splashed into the olive oil causing it to be slightly ruined. This of course did provoke some unhappy actions but once strained the olive oil looked and smelt like Basil Infused Olive Oil.
Basil Infused Olive Oil
- 3 cups of Basil
- 2 cups of Olive Oil
- Wash and Dry basil throughly
- Finely chop up the basil
- Pour the Olive Oil into a pan at the basil and heat on medium heat
- Allow heat and reach a simmer (not boil) for 5 mins
- Remove from heat and leave to infuse for at least 1hr
- Transfer mixture into a jar using a mesh to catch the basil
The end result is a very delicate Basil Infused Olive Oil. I would like to try some other methods to make a strong Basil infused Olive Oil but thats for another day.