I planted seven different varieties of basil in my backyard garden one day when I was dreaming of pesto. However, I live in New York City, a land of heavy metal runoff and lead paint flakes. Several local community gardens have needed to put in raised beds with fresh dirt due to high levels of contaminants in their soil. Yikes! I’ll need to get my backyard soil thoroughly tested before I make any pesto from my own home-grown herbs.
Homegrown basil or not, mmmmm pesto! I get so excited about pesto. Hopefully you do, too, because then I’ve got a recipe for you. This recipe uses not one but TWO entire heads of roasted garlic (!!), which makes it super smooth and creamy.
I threw this pesto on top of some spaghetti squash and tossed that mess with some chicken and sauteed onions. It was great! But I would imagine this being great on many things. The consistency is pretty thick and spreadable, so you can put it on anything you like. If you’re going for the spaghetti squash, here is how I cooked it: cut it in half length-wise, then scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a cookie sheet with a small amount of water on the tray. I baked it right alongside the garlic in my oven, at 400°, until it was soft. Gently scrape the fibers out of the cooked squash with a fork and then eat up!
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 large bunch basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 pinches salt + more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the top off of each head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Wrap the garlic in tin foil and bake them for an hour.
- When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from the bottom so that they squish out the top. Squeeze the softened garlic into your food processor. Add the basil and oil and salt and puree until smooth. If your pesto is too thick, add more oil a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Add more salt to taste.