I don’t think I have told you how much I LOVE Farmers Market in the summer. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, flowers and herbs all there at me fingers tips just screaming “pick me!” I am like a kid in a candy shop when I go to Farmer’s Market.
Farmers Market is the perfect place for me to buy big batches of basil, not of that 4 little stems in a plastic container like you get at the store. I am talking a big old bunch of basil for just $2; perfect for having with tomatoes and for making a batch of pesto. Pesto is a summertime favorite for me. It is the perfect versatile ingredient. Throw it on hot or cold pasta, use it as sandwich spread in place of mayo, or on fish or potatoes, the list is really endless. I love doing a breakfast sandwich, like this:
Start with a big bunch of fresh basil. (When in season, you can get a big bunch for just two bucks at farmers market.)
Blend with garlic, olive oil, walnuts (or pine nuts) and Parmesan cheese.
Salt, pepper and presto: A perfectly simple pesto!
Basic Pesto Recipe
3 cups fresh basil (washed and de-stemmed)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts (minimum)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a high powered food processor blend basil. Then add oil and garlic. Finally add nuts and parmesan. Add a little more oil if you find your pesto to thick. I personally like to make it extra thick to store, then I add oil, milk or cream to fit my needs while cooking.
Hint 1: If you are short on basil, try adding some spinach or arugula for a spicier flavor.
Hint 2: Pine nuts make for a smoother pesto whereas walnuts are a bit nuttier.
Hint 3: All measurements are just starting points, adjust the recipe to your liking.