Artworks is bringing a new combination to the Villagio - locally crafted pottery filled with locally grown basil! For all of you home chefs out there, basil is a tasty recipe ingredient that adds flavor and aroma to pasta, fish, chicken and more. Just chop up a few leaves and add them to your dish. Plus, the basil sold at Artworks is grown right here on beautiful Perdido Key; and these live basil plants are potted in hand-made containers made by local Perdido Key artisans. The combination goes two-fold in helping our area artists and horticulturalists.
We hope to see you there.
Want a great recipe that features basil? Try Basil Pesto.
Basil Pesto is a sauce or dip traditionally served with pasta and chicken, but be sure not to limit yourself to just pasta and chicken. Pork chops and fish go with a creamy basil pesto sauce just as well. Basil Pesto is an excellent addition to many meals; and it is usually made of basil, garlic, nuts, cheeses, olive oil, salt and pepper. Preparation time is very quick and only a little stovetop time is needed. This particular recipe is brought to us by Kevin Clark, Joel Smith and Noah Moseley.
Ingredients for Basil Pesto
- Fresh Basil Leaves (about 7 stems)
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (or Walnuts)
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 3/4 Cup Grated Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano Cheese)
- Salt & Pepper
Basil Pesto is so amazingly easy to make and it is subject to your own creativity and preferences. We roast the nuts and garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then pour that over the basil leaves in a food processor and mix in the lemon juice, grated cheese, salt and pepper. You decide how fluid you like the pesto, how spicy, how salty, peppery and how blended. Some people prefer a rough, choppy pesto. Other people prefer a smoothly blended pesto. It all comes down to what you prefer.
Instructions to Make Basil Pesto
- Place basil leaves into the food processor.
- Lightly roast the pine nuts or walnuts on the top of the stove.
- Once the nuts are beginning to brown, add chopped garlic and a little olive oil.
- Once the garlic has cooked just slightly, pour the pan ingredients into the food processor over the basil leaves. We think the heat of the olive oil helps slightly cook and tenderize the basil leaves in the food processor.
- Add lemon juice.
- Pulse until the pesto is blended into a slightly coarse mixture.
- Add more olive oil as needed.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add grated cheese.
- Pine nuts can be replaced with pretty much any other type of nut. We've tried walnuts. Those worked very well. Sunflower seeds worked well also.
- The cheese is any hard style of cheese that is easily grated. Parmesan is an excellent option.
- Olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil? You pick. Extra-virgin olive oil may make a more bitter pesto if it is over blended in the food processor due to the breakdown of polyphenols. Another option if using extra-virgin olive oil is to food process everything else and then gently stir in the extra-virgin olive oil by hand.
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