My friends Tony and Maria have a prolific basil garden every year. By prolific, I mean… huge!!!! Each year, at the end of the summer, they host a fantastic Pesto Party. It comes with vintage aprons, awards, wine, great food and fantastic company. The kitchen turns into a very efficient assembly line with stations for ingredients and food processors. By the end of the night, we all go home with as many Pesto Logs as we need to carry us through the next twelve months. We love it! Here is the recipe and a website about uses for Pesto!
Pesto Recipe – (It makes one log.)
8-12 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh Basil leaves (packed tight)
2 cups fresh Parsley leaves (packed loosely)
1 cup grated Italian cheese, Romano or Parmesan (I use Romano.)
2/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
Place all these ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. I gather up all my dry ingredients, put them in the processor then add the oil on top. Makes approximately 2-3 cups of Pesto.
Lay the pesto onto a sheet of wax paper and roll it into a foot-long “log” for freezing. It lasts 1-2 years in a deep freezer.
Here are Maria’s Notes at the end of the recipe:
*Please bring a cookie sheet to transport your logs home.
*To make extra-strong-Basil-tasting pesto, 2 cups Basil can be used instead of the Basil and Parsley blend.
*Pine nuts have a stronger taste.
*1 large bunch of store-bought parsley = 2 cups packed parsley ***(Washing and picking large stems off at home saves time.)***
*Sun-dried tomatoes can be added, as well as other fresh herbs…
(I have fresh sage, oregano and thyme in my garden, help yourself and try a new pesto blend!)
Here is a website with great uses for Pesto: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/recipe-of-the-day-what-to-eat-in-july-2012/pictures/page-9.html?nl=ROTD_072312_RecipeText&sni_mid=48170&sni_rid=48170.502.69547
And in case you are interested, here were this year’s awards:
First arrival–Rich (24 hrs early)
First arrival on the correct day–Bob and Danni
Best quote of the night–“I have two dogs, but only one wears diapers!”–Kristi
Farthest traveled–tied between Susie and Elaine and Ron
Best question of the night–“Why are you guys sitting here in the kitchen instead of plucking basil leaves?”–Maria
Best answer–“Because that’s your job!”–Bob and Rich
Sweetest Clean Up Gals–Barb and Gretchen
First Log Completed–Susie
Biggest Honkin’ Logs Ever–Danni
Most perfectly shaped pesto log ever in history–Elaine
Best Dessert Company–Karen and Butch
Most WIlling Garlic Peeler–Kristi
Hairiest Participant–Hudson (a dog)
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