Basil Pesto: How to Have an Italian Pesto in Winter From Your Terrace
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Basil Pesto: How to Have Italian Pesto in Winter From Your Terrace

Basil Pesto

Why Basil Is A Necessary Herb In Your Garden

Do you love basil pesto? Well, now is the time for it! I prepare some basil pesto every now and then using my garden herbs. Rosemary, thyme, lavender, mint, chives and sage are available all year round in my garden while basil is available until December. If you are a basil lover, why don’t you plant some basil in your garden? You can make interesting menus out of it, such as this yummy basil pesto recipe that I am going to teach you in this blog post.

Related: How to Dry Herbs

But this year, maybe for our “new” mild weather, I kept it alive through the winter. I put it in a place sheltered from the cold (Rome is not chill!).

You always cut the flowers on top of the plant and thinned and twigs by dry leaves,  so the roots will get stronger and the basil will continue to have new young tasty leaves. I left it on the terrace in a sheltered area with some white paper around to protect it from cold but not from the sun! Contrary to the summer that burns the leaves, in winter the basil makes stronger. Do not soak it too often. If you put it inside home it risk to die because usually it’s too hot.
So after I prepared pesto sauce “stocks” during the summer (I have to admit that basil is also more flavorful in this season) I wisely frozen a lot of jars, but this year I also made fresh pesto in January!

This is my recipe (original Italian Basil pesto needs Genoese basil) and I prefer to use it on pasta but you can use it with vegetables hot soup, vegetarian lasagna, mashed potatoes, boiled and baked potatoes with pesto or simply with toasted bread!

Ingredients for Basil Pesto sauce:

  • 40 basil leaves
  • 25 grams of pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano Raggiano  cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Pecorino cheese
  • a clove of garlic
  • salt

You should use the marble mortar, but if you have not one of this or in lack of time, you can use a blender. Prune you basil gently, well cleaned from dust and washed with a damp cloth. Dry them with paper towels, gently of course so you don’t broke the leaves. Take a pinch of salt, the basil, the pine nuts, the clove of garlic and olive oil: mix all together on low speed until it becomes a cream (or as you prefer). Put in a bowl. Grate very well the Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and add to the bowl. Mix all together.

Related: How To Prune Hydrangeas

If there is too much salt in the pesto salt not salt the pasta water or the mashed potatoes. If it is dry, add some extra virgin oil. Never cook the pesto but always add it at the end, even for the pasta.

Next step to plant basil in March or think about starting an herb garden.

 


Featured picture from @green.delicious

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