Ok, I am SO excited about this homemade pesto! Our crop share farm let us pick unlimited basil, so I went to town! My mom gave me the best tip of keeping the cut ends of the basil in water to preserve them and keep the leaves from going black. You should also put them in the refrigerator to keep them longer.
So the first step is the most tedious - pulling all of the leaves off the stems. In some cases, I discarded the yucky ones but I kept almost all of them. Once they're mixed in, it won't matter :-) I am fortunately a pro at picking basil leaves from my work experience at Carrabba's :-) Next, they all need to be washed. I used a salad spinner to cut down on time. After that, all of the leaves go into a food processor - I pulsed a few time to get them mixed up and then just let the processor go to town.
Once the leaves were really good and minced, I added in the goodies: lots of parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts and fresh garlic. I didn't measure any of these, just made up the amounts as I went along. I learned to cut back on the pine nuts a bit - the flavor of the first batch was just too nutty. I will also probably use a Romano/parmesan mix next time for a little more flavor.
I then processed the rest of the ingredients together to get a really wonderful-smelling yummy pasty pesto :-) The whole kitchen smelled divine!
Next, because I knew we wouldn't be eating this much basil anytime soon, I pulled out my old ice cube makers and divided the pesto into the ice cube trays to make very small portions to freeze. Once they were frozen separately, I removed the pesto cubes from the trays and put them all in a freezer bag. In the future, I only need to go into the freezer, pull out as many pesto cubes as needed and then microwave. I usually add a bit of EVOO each time. This is perfect because I am the only one that eats pesto with any regularity - now I will have it for the whole winter and there are no preservatives - just yummy natural ingredients that I put together myself! Voila!