Pesto by Hand a.k.a. Super Kao’s Pesto Adventures!

Val and Dez, my pet basil, were becoming a bit overgrown, so at my mom’s prodding, I went off to prune them. Gardening how-tos on the net suggested that I snip the stalks down to just 2 sets of real leaves to encourage growth, so I did just that. I have been rewarded by my efforts with 4 leafy sprigs of basil. Not wanting to waste them, I decided to try my hand at making pesto.

How to Make Basil Pesto 05

I placed the sprigs in a basin, then washed them free of soil. I tore the leaves from the stems, then dried them in the salad spinner. Afterwards, I set them on a kitchen towel to absorb any additional moisture.

How to Make Basil Pesto 01

I didn’t have any pine nuts in the house (not to mention they’re horribly expensive for a mere experiment), so I settled for some roasted dried cashews. I chopped them coarsely, then peeled a couple of cloves of garlic.

How to Make Basil Pesto 02

Because it was my first time ever making pesto, I wanted to try doing it the traditional way, that is by mortar and pestle.

How to Make Basil Pesto 03

Which I did. 15 minutes later, I realized I wasn’t even 1/5 of the way into finishing. My arm was hurting, and it was so much effort for 2 tablespoons of pesto paste, so I decided to…

How to Make Basil Pesto 04

…grab our trusty mini-food processor and blend away, NYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Cheating notwithstanding, I’m pretty happy with the experiment. I made one bottle of pesto which will last me for quite some time, and I didn’t have to spend anything at all! It’s even extra special because I loaded it with lots of freshly shaved parmesan. Wheeee!

Was it worth it? Definitely. A cup of freshly made pesto, spread on some nice crostini. Happiness.

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