Val and Dez, my pet basil, were becoming a bit overgrown, so at my momâ€™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.
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.
I didnâ€™t have any pine nuts in the house (not to mention theyâ€™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.
Because it was my first time ever making pesto, I wanted to try doing it the traditional way, that is by mortar and pestle.
Which I did. 15 minutes later, I realized I wasnâ€™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…
…grab our trusty mini-food processor and blend away, NYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Cheating notwithstanding, Iâ€™m pretty happy with the experiment. I made one bottle of pesto which will last me for quite some time, and I didnâ€™t have to spend anything at all! Itâ€™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.