The Rough Guide to Big Batch Basil Pesto

It happens every summer…or winter I suppose.  I start in the green house in March with these little tiny Basil seeds…

they are so itty bitty I end up planting way too many.

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When they grow I find plenty of nooks and crannies for them to grow in the garden and then this time of year I am swimming in beautiful Genovese Basil.  So I get to work on big old batches of pesto to freeze and share at the Santa Fe Harvest Swap, (yes it is happening again this fall folks, more details later!!!)

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I usually start with about 1 1/2 lbs Basil, a dozen head of garlic, four cups almonds, four cups olive oil, and a handful of salt.  This much will get you about a case of half pint jars of pesto.  It isn’t hard, just takes a few time consuming steps- like peeling a ton of garlic, and plucking off a ton of Basil stems.

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Along the way I figured out an average head of garlic equals about 1/4 minced garlic- which is enough for one batch– yes I like garlic!!

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To make these batches affordable I use Almonds instead of pine nuts, and I soak them over night before hand to get even more bang for my buck ( they expand a little when soaked)

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The making is easy once you have everything prepped and ready, (this can take days!!)IMG_8798

For one Batch ( 3 half pint jars)

Fill the Cuisinart with

4 cups of basil leaves (That means filled to the brim and pushed down a couple times)

I pulse the Cuisinart a couple of times and add

1 cup of Olive Oil on top and pulse till a nice green paste

Then I add a

1/4 cup minced garlic (run through the cuisinart earlier)

1 Cup soaked Almonds

1tsp salt

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Before you finish taste it!! Some garlic is much stronger than others as is Basil so make sure you like it before you go freezing a ton of it!!

Blend until nice a creamy and fill up half pint jars leaving a little room at the top for a layer of olive oil ( this keeps it green)

This amount will make 3 Half pint jars

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Do this four times and you will have a case of pesto which you can freeze and eat throughout the year!

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***Remember this is a Rough Guide- I can barely follow a recipe much less write one, but so many of you have asked how I make my pesto over the years, so there you have it!

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