Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Basil Pesto Project May 24, 2010

This year, I planted basil as early as possible, and also planted more than ever before, with hopes of having enough to make pesto for me and some friends as well.  Making pesto to store in the freezer for winter, is an annual event for me, but this year, I’m using local parmesan from Brazos Valley Cheese, local garlic,  and a different local olive oil than I’ve used.

First, I harvested several kinds of basil:

Harvested basil

Then I took the leaves off the stems, washed it and let it dry:

Cleaned basil leaves drying

4 cloves of garlic

I used four cloves of garlic for a food processor full of basil.

Then I grated quite of bit of Brazos Valley parmesan, from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop.

local cheese

Next I put it all in the food processor with a couple handfuls of pecans from my tree, (which I’m running out of, so keeping fingers crossed for a new crop this fall.)

Almost pesto

Next I added my new favorite olive oil, Terra Verde from Texas Hill Country Olive Company, and gave it whirl, until everything was chopped, but not pureed.  This amount yielded 2 large portions.

All local pesto

I shared one container with friends, and we proceeded to eat it all weekend with our home made mozzarella, garden tomatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil.   There may be no more perfect bite of food, in my opinion.

I’ve know for a long time that I enjoy making food for other people.  But I’m finding more and more that food brings people together, and I get great joy in sharing it with others who enjoy it, and being shared with as well.  Last night I was the  very happy recipient of homemade yogurt, made with the same local milk we used to make cheese, from Jamie, jewelry maker extraordinaire (Viola and Jean) as well as a ball of the famous and highly coveted pizza dough, from Christian of Austin Food Journal acclaim.  And if that isn’t enough food joy for one day, I was also gifted ears of popping corn from Kristi of Austin Farm to Table, from her visit to a farmer’s market in Chicago.  I am a very lucky girl to have such amazing foodie friends.


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