Basil Trimming = Pesto Dinner

>> March 17, 2011

Bon Apetito!

I've been planning to trim my ever growing basil plant in the balcony but every time I get a chance, I always feel bad to cut off the little branches with young leaves on it. Now it's humongous, branches leaning everywhere, and the pot just couldn't handle it anymore. Moreover, the leaves it bears are thinner and smaller. Leaves also tend to get yellow easily. It also wrinkles a lot. In other words, it doesn't look as healthy as it used to months ago.

Since it is huge, I figured the soil couldn't supply sufficient nutrients to the plant. So today, I trimmed it. I cut off the old branches even with leaves. I also cut off excessive branches and leaves that makes it heavy. I also discovered a couple of caterpillars (they eat my herbs!) which I removed, but then felt guilty after throwing them off the balcony.

The leaves I harvested were more than enough to make us pesto for tonight's dinner. What could be better than a home-made pesto made from home-grown basil leaves?

Good timing, it's veggie Thursday! I don't have to bleed to come up with a full vegetarian menu for tonight :P!

Credits to this pesto recipe goes to


- 2 cups fresh packed basil leaves (packed means, stuff them into a measure cup and press them down with your hand; it's not a precise measurement)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (if you don't have pine nuts, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced (or 1 tablespoon of prepared minced garlic)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (helps prevent the pesto from turning brown upon exposure to the air)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Makes about 1 cup or prepared basil Pesto

1. Pick the leaves off of the stems.Discard any flower buds, stems or leaves that aren't in good shape. All we want are leaves; small, medium or large; as long as they are a healthy green, not brown or molding.

2. Wash the basil thoroughly. I usually dissolve baking powder in a pot and soak my green leafy vegetables for about 3 minutes to remove dirt and soil. Then I wash it thorougly with running water.

3. Chop the pine nuts, olive oil and garlic in the food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender, and possibly a chopper. I don't have food processor so I did it with a manual chopper. It's tedious, but worth it :).

4. Add the basil leaves and olive oil in small portions and chop. Add stuff gradually. Chop the mix until it forms a thick, smooth paste.

5. Blend in the grated Parmesan cheese. If you intend to freeze the pesto to store, leave this step out as cheese don't freeze very well.


Vira,  March 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM  

Kesa, this one I'm dying to learn. Since I dont know jack about cooking, I can buy naman basil leaves somewhere di ba?

Marvie Yap March 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM  

Yes kesa, you can get it in the supermarket. I'll teach you how my dear friend :)

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Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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