I have a small, purple basil plant. Just one. I also happen to love pesto. However, I didn’t have a ton of leaves to harvest. So I went hunting online for an easy recipe that I could cut in half. I found one, tweaked it a little, and bam, instant pesto!
Here’s what I used:
- 1 mini muffin tin
- 1 cup fresh basil (packed) Note: “Packed” just means you don’t want the leaves to be loose, you want to push them down and pack them in.
- 1/4 c. Pompeian olive extra Mediterranean blend oil
- 2 garlic cloves
Note: Now, the recipe I found said you could add salt and pepper to taste, but I find that everyone’s taste varies, so I opted to not add the salt and pepper until I actually used the pesto.
I blended the basil and garlic well in my food processor, then I kept the pulse going while I slowly added in the oil. I did stop to scrape the sides, pushing the mixture down so that everything would be well-blended. My pesto was more on the leafy side than the paste side and I liked it that way. It was really fresh smelling. Once it was well-combined, I realized that I didn’t have any ice-cube trays (turns out I did, but they were buried at the time) to pour it into. So I took my mini muffin tin and improvised (this turned out to be a wonderful idea and I’ll explain why in a bit). It only filled 6 of the wells, but that was perfect because if I had enough basil to double it, it would fit perfectly.
I froze them overnight, but most recipes say it only takes 2 hours. I just left mine overnight because I wasn’t going to have time to transfer them out of the tin at the time.
When I did take them out of the freezer, all I did was run a little hot water over the bottom of the tin. Take care not to do it for too long. You just need to heat it long enough so the pesto will spin around in the tin well. They will be oily, but they should hold together fine.
Next I wrapped them up in saran wrap and then put all the wrapped pesto into a baggie.
We tried it today and I think that the muffin tin was actually a great idea. It was the perfect amount to coat one serving of pasta evenly. It was rich and earthy tasting, and I can’t wait to have more, maybe next time with a little grilled chicken and grape tomatoes thrown in the mix.
Enjoy and happy eating. 🙂 -Moe