Friday, July 15, 2022

Pesto

"Just as with everything in life, you can certainly stick to tradition or you can break free from the chains of normalcy and see what else the wide world has to offer." - Me

Garlic Scape Pesto
20 Jars of Freshly Made Garlic Scape Pesto, Ready for the Deep Freezer!

Pesto, a magical sauce that is revered by most yet rarely used due to the high cost.  When desire wins over your wallet, a small bottle is purchased and your taste buds are rewarded with a light, flavorful taste explosion.  What if you could easily make a ton of pesto yourself at a fraction of the cost?

Then you have found yourself in the right spot.

Pesto is traditionally made out of Basil, Pine Nuts, Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Olive Oil and a little bit of Salt.  Just as with everything in life, you can certainly stick to tradition or you can break free from the chains of normalcy and see what else the wide world has to offer.

You can make pesto out of literally any green or herb in your garden that you have an excessive amount of.  You can also use Sunflower Seeds instead of Pine Nuts which gives you the exact same end result for about 1/4th of the cost.  You will not notice any difference unless you happen to be a Pesto Sommelier.  Leave out the parmesan cheese for a true rebellion.

Once you've made a bunch of pesto, you just add it to mason jars, throw them in the freezer, then you can thaw them out whenever you need them.  This way you can have fresh pesto throughout the entire winter!

We're going to go over how to make a few different types of Pesto.  For each of these recipes you will need a food processor, a royal crap ton of sunflower seeds, olive oil and the ingredient from your garden that you have a ton of and you want to make a tasty sauce out of.

Affordable Traditional Pesto (Bbbbooorrrrriiiinnnnggggg)

-Handfuls of Basil (the more the merrier)
-1 Cup of Sunflower Seeds
-Garlic Cloves (optional)
-Lots of Olive Oil
-Wedge of Lemon or Lime or some form of citrus (optional but helps to preserve the pesto).

Take 1 heaping handful of Basil, add to the food processor, add some olive oil to lube everything up, chop up the basil with the processor until it's very fine.  Add Garlic Cloves (if using) then chop.  Add 1 cup of sunflower seeds, add more olive oil, chop up again.  If it's not really chopping in the food processor or if it's too thick then add more olive oil.  Taste and if it's not basily enough, add another handful or two of basil, more olive oil then chop again.  Repeat until the taste, texture and consistency is to your liking.  Add juice of citrus wedge and chop one final time.  Add the finished pesto to jars (leave some room at top for expansion) then add to the freezer to use whenever you would like.  Repeat until either no more basil or sunflower seeds exist or you run out of freezer space or you get tired of making pesto.

Garlic Scape Pesto (Now things are getting spicy) - This one is a favorite in the gardening world.

-10 to 15 Garlic Scapes
-Handful of Orach and/or Carrot Tops (yes, the top, green part of the carrot that you always throw out)
-1 1/2 Cups of Sunflower Seeds
-Lots of Olive Oil
-Wedge of Lemon or Lime or some form of citrus (optional but helps to preserve the pesto).

Take 10 to 15 Garlic Scapes, add to the food processor, add some olive oil to lube everything up, chop up the garlic scapes with the processor until it's very fine.  Add the handful of Orach and/or Carrot Tops, add more olive oil, chop up in the processor.  Add 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seeds, add more olive oil, chop up again.  If the mix is not really chopping in the food processor or if it's too thick then add more olive oil (lots of olive oil).  Adjust ingredients until the taste, texture and consistency is to your liking.  Add juice of citrus wedge and chop one final time.  Add the finished pesto to jars (leave some room at top for expansion) then add to the freezer to use whenever you would like.

Mint Pesto (Oh yeah, we are going there) - See, you can make pesto out of pretty much anything, think outside the box.

-Handfuls of Mint (the more the merrier)
-1 Cup of Sunflower Seeds
-Lots of Olive Oil
-Wedge of Lemon or Lime or some form of citrus (optional but helps to preserve the pesto).

Take 1 heaping handful of Mint, add to the food processor, add some olive oil to lube everything up, chop up the mint with the processor until it's very fine.  Add 1 cup of sunflower seeds, add more olive oil, chop up again.  If it's not really chopping in the food processor or if it's too thick then add more olive oil.  Taste and if it's not minty enough, add another handful or two of mint, more olive oil then chop again.  Repeat until the taste, texture and consistency is to your liking.  Add juice of citrus wedge and chop one final time.  Add the finished pesto to jars (leave some room at top for expansion) then add to the freezer to use whenever you would like.

There you have it, three completely different recipes for making a very affordable form of pesto along with the building blocks of how you can expand upon these recipes to make your own pesto recipes based on what you have available in the garden.  If you find yourself with way too much of a tasty green or herb just think... Pesto!

Side Hustle Idea: Make and sell your own unique pesto's at your local farmers market or wherever local goods are bought / sold in your town!

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