In my previous post, I described how I dealt with an overabundance of mint. But before I had the overabundance of mint, I had an overabundance of mint–plus an overabundance of basil.
Presenting how I got rid of that in a manner most pleasing to the stomach: Pesto.
Pesto does not require basil and only basil, plus pine nuts and only pine nuts. It does not even require Parmesan cheese. Whilst the famous Pesto Genovese includes all three, multiple variations exist. For example, the Provencal “pistou” is a Genovese with no cheese or nuts. You should feel free to invent your own.
Basil-Mint Cheese-less Pesto
I began with these ingredients:
- 2 cups of Basil leaves
- 1 cup of Mint leaves
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1/4 cup of shelled Pistachios (yes, Pistachios)
- 1/4 cup of slivered Almonds (a more traditional substitute)
- 3/4 cup of Olive Oil
Put the first five ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until everything is finely chopped. You will need to pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Now leave the process on and slowly add the olive oil until all is incorporated and thoroughly blended.
Remove one-third of the Pesto, put in an airtight jar, and refrigerate. That is your first pesto recipe.
Basil-Mint Asiago Pesto
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Asiago (you don’t even need the “right” cheese!)
Add the cheese to the pesto remaining in the bowl and pulse until thoroughly blended and incorporated.
Remove one-third of the Pesto, put in an airtight jar, and refrigerate. That is your second pesto recipe.
Basil-Mint and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- Six ounces of jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, with the oil. Seriously.
Add the tomatoes to the remaining pesto in the bowl and pulse until the sun-dried tomatoes are thoroughly chopped, blended and incorporated.
Remove the remaining pesto, put in an airtight jar, and refrigerate.
Now all you have to do consists of combing the online websites for cool new recipes calling for any kind of pesto! Sorry, I can’t help you with that, but it is a fun activity.
Vonn Scott Bair