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The Madera Tribune

Things to do with pesto

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webmaster | 08/15/12

The day I wrote this, I was dividing my time between writing at my computer and making several batches of pesto sauce with three different kinds of basil that I grew in oak halfbarrels on my deck.

I do not yet know which of the sauces I will like best, because I have never tried boxwood basil or Greek columnar basil. The third type is my old familiar favorite (not sure what the variety is called, but it’s just common green basil).

I am using pine nuts, thanks to my mom giving me a whole bag, extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic. I have found that about half the amount of olive oil that recipes call for works out much better for my tastes. The mixture always came out very oily before I decided to try cutting down the amount. One-fourth cup of oil to 2 cups basil leaves is a good target.

Today I won’t be going into how to make a basic pesto sauce, but rather how to use the sauce in different ways. I like to put a dollop of pesto sauce in homemade spaghetti sauce or minestrone soup (or a vegetable-beef soup, for that matter). When I was a kid, my dad and grandfather always had a few rows of “basilica” growing in the garden. Not sure why, but the men were the vegetable gardeners and women took care of any flowers or other plants. I didn’t care who did what, as long as I was able to sit down and enjoy a big bowl of linguine or spaghetti slathered with fresh pesto sauce. I hope you like it, too...


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