The time of the season has arrived where I concede that my basil plants are not getting any bigger, reluctantly harvest the newly-bolting bushes, transform them into pesto, and liberally gob it onto everything I put in my mouth until I run out. This year I made a raw cashew pesto and a hazelnut pesto, which are absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I used almost the entire bottle of olive oil that I brought back from my recent trip to Italy, which means less olive oil for me to bathe my tomatoes in.
In the past if I wanted to make pesto I’ve procured large bunches of basil for cheap from our local farmers markets. Since my front yard garden has limited sun, the basil never gets bigger than a spindly 10-inch branch. But this year, with my full-sun community garden plot, each basil plant has formed deliciously dense little bushes.
The great thing about pesto is that I feel like I can’t really screw it up. It’s not like you ruin a batch by putting in too much of <insert one the most-delicious-ingredients-in-the-world here>. This time I put in basil, shredded raw milk Romano cheese, crushed garlic, salt, and olive oil with hazelnuts in one batch and raw cashews in the other. To store it in the freezer I divide the batches up into serving sizes and top ‘em off with olive oil. I’m usually too lazy to label them, but this year I actually did. No pesto surprise flavors this year!