At certain times of the year in the garden – after hours of watering, talking to the plants and pruning – it’s time to act. With basil, that means pesto. There’s no need for us to buy it and anyway, the shop-bought packets and jars here are invariably way too sweet.
With our own olive oil, garlic and basil it makes sense to spend an hour or two making a large batch – then freezing it in ice cube trays to be used over antumn and winter. Hopefully we’ll get a second crop in six weeks or so and do the process all over again. Here’s how we make it.
First, we pick the basil and rinse it.
We use almonds in place of pine nuts. They are beaten with an old tile and after what seems like two weeks, we have a bowl of them.
The almonds – plus garlic and salt – are blitzed into a paste.
In a larger food processor the basil leaves are blitzed with olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.
The rind from the cheese is carefully cut away. The grated cheese is then added to the basil mix. We used a cheese from Galicia called ‘Galmesano’ (this cost 6.45€). It’s similar to parmesan. More about it here.
Apart from a jar for the fridge (which should last a couple of weeks), the pesto is put into ice cube trays.
This batch will fill at least four trays – approximately thirty meals as we use two cubes per dish. As the cheese is the only major ingredient we have to buy, the cost of adding pesto to a meal for two is around 25 cents.
Some like it hot – homemade chilli sauce
© con jamón spain
Galmesano – love it!
Who presses your olives for you?
Smashing post! I just froze some in ice cube trays this week myself, but I have never used the bar of chocolate overflow method. You have saved me from future years of meticulously filling the cubes without spillage. My life is changed!
If nothing else, the post has saved a few minutes (hours?) of perfect-cube heartbreak.