October is the most wonderful month as although Summer is officially, properly over and you can legitimately put the heating on in the evening, your garden can still surprise you with a few last vestiges of sun.
Sometime in August I let the children loose with the last couple of packets of seeds and we planted what could probably be described as a small field of basil, or possibly even a forest of basil since there was not a neat line in sight.
It has been wonderful, to have so much to hand that I could endlessly throw it in pastas and salads, top bruschetta and sprinkle it on soups. However, with the cold weather approaching I decided it was time to harvest it fully and was then faced with the dilemma of what to do with several armfuls of basil, the answer being, my favourite, freezer friendly pesto.
- 160g basil leaves (the best ones are the small ones at the top)
- 120g pine nuts
- 120g Parmesan
- 50ml mild olive oil
- 100g butter
- 4 garlic cloves
- Sea salt
Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan (making sure they don’t burn) then put all the ingredients into a blender with the salt (to taste) and pulse until smooth.
This recipe is much lower in fat content than most traditional pesto as I don’t like my pesto to be too oily, and higher in parmesan, as I like my pesto cheesy, but you can tweak any of the ingredients to your preference – there really is no ‘ideal’ recipe.
Once the pesto is made, let it cool in the fridge and then form it into a sausage shape, wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer. Whenever you need it, you can just unwrap it and break off a piece for a taste of Summer in the middle of Winter.