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HomeNewsArchivesBLENDER MAKES QUICK WORK OF LEMON BASIL PESTO

BLENDER MAKES QUICK WORK OF LEMON BASIL PESTO

Oct. 7, 2001 – Nestled on a hillside looking over Coral Bay, St. John writer Pam Gaffin is building her dream home among the lush greenery. On a recent trip, we benefited from some of her flourishing bounty in the form of fragrant lemon basil.
"Cut as much as you want," she said. "It grows so fast."
Our children nipped away with clippers until there was a whole bag full of this aromatic herb. The idea of making pesto instantly came to my mind.
Called the "royal herb" by the ancient Greeks, who revered it for both culinary and medicinal uses, basil is a member of the mint family. The green leaf has a pungent flavor often described as a cross between licorice and cloves. However, lemon basil also has a decidedly tart citrus taste.
For cooking, lemon basil leaves should be fresh with no signs of discoloration or wilting. To keep just-picked basil fresh, refrigerate it wrapped in damp paper towels and tucked into a plastic bag. Or, place a bunch of basil stems down in a glass of water and cover the leaves with a plastic bag.
Lemon basil is especially good for making teas and herb vinegars, and to add flavor to chicken, fish and vegetables. A substantial amount of the herb is needed to make a suitable quantity of pesto.
Pesto is an uncooked, paste-like sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. The ingredients are whirled together in a blender until they come together as a beautiful, smooth green mass. Pesto can be melted over spaghetti in place of tomato sauce, used as a bread spread similar to mayonnaise, employed as a seasoning or stuffing for chicken and fish, and even used as a baked-potato topper.
Try making up a batch and inventing your own flavorful uses.
Lemon Basil Pesto
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
3 cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Drop pine nuts and garlic into the container of a blender or food processor; process until minced. Add basil, cheese and lemon juice; process until finely minced. With blender at low speed, slowly pour in oil and process until mixture is well blended. Spoon pesto into a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. Makes 1 cup.
Nutrition per tablespoon: 35 calories, 3 gms fat (80 percent fat calories), no cholesterol, 20 mg sodium.
Variation: Pesto also can be made from other Virgin Islands herbs. For example, substitute rosemary or thyme for the basil in the recipe above. Or, try making a mixed-herb pesto with thyme and rosemary along with spinach, parsley and chives.

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Oct. 7, 2001 - Nestled on a hillside looking over Coral Bay, St. John writer Pam Gaffin is building her dream home among the lush greenery. On a recent trip, we benefited from some of her flourishing bounty in the form of fragrant lemon basil.
"Cut as much as you want," she said. "It grows so fast."
Our children nipped away with clippers until there was a whole bag full of this aromatic herb. The idea of making pesto instantly came to my mind.
Called the "royal herb" by the ancient Greeks, who revered it for both culinary and medicinal uses, basil is a member of the mint family. The green leaf has a pungent flavor often described as a cross between licorice and cloves. However, lemon basil also has a decidedly tart citrus taste.
For cooking, lemon basil leaves should be fresh with no signs of discoloration or wilting. To keep just-picked basil fresh, refrigerate it wrapped in damp paper towels and tucked into a plastic bag. Or, place a bunch of basil stems down in a glass of water and cover the leaves with a plastic bag.
Lemon basil is especially good for making teas and herb vinegars, and to add flavor to chicken, fish and vegetables. A substantial amount of the herb is needed to make a suitable quantity of pesto.
Pesto is an uncooked, paste-like sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. The ingredients are whirled together in a blender until they come together as a beautiful, smooth green mass. Pesto can be melted over spaghetti in place of tomato sauce, used as a bread spread similar to mayonnaise, employed as a seasoning or stuffing for chicken and fish, and even used as a baked-potato topper.
Try making up a batch and inventing your own flavorful uses.
Lemon Basil Pesto
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
3 cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Drop pine nuts and garlic into the container of a blender or food processor; process until minced. Add basil, cheese and lemon juice; process until finely minced. With blender at low speed, slowly pour in oil and process until mixture is well blended. Spoon pesto into a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. Makes 1 cup.
Nutrition per tablespoon: 35 calories, 3 gms fat (80 percent fat calories), no cholesterol, 20 mg sodium.
Variation: Pesto also can be made from other Virgin Islands herbs. For example, substitute rosemary or thyme for the basil in the recipe above. Or, try making a mixed-herb pesto with thyme and rosemary along with spinach, parsley and chives.