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Thread: Converting Basil Paste to Pesto

  1. #1

    Converting Basil Paste to Pesto

    The Washington Post had a basil paste recipe this summer which I used to deal with an overabundance of basil this year and limited freezer space. The recipe is nothing more than 4 c. basil leaves, stemmed, washed and dried and 1/4 - 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil placed in a food processor till finely chopped to form a paste.

    My question is how much paste to use to create pesto. The recipe did not provide that info and my first foray into trying to figure that out did not work out. In particular, I normally use 1/4 c of parsley to 3/4 c basil when I make pesto along with the usual other ingredients. I tried 1 c parsley to 1/4 c paste increasing the quantity of paste to 1 c finally plus the usual other ingredients for pesto. It was abysmal. Maybe making paste just ruins the taste of the basil and I'm comparing the results to how my fresh pesto would taste?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks.Pam

  2. #2
    Moderator CM's Avatar
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    Hi Pam and welcome!

    Here's the recipe for pesto that I use - not sure whether this is what you were asking?

    PESTO SAUCE
    Printed from COOKS.COM

    2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
    3 cloves garlic, peeled
    1/2 cup pine nuts
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    olive oil (for covering)

    Put all ingredients except olive oil into a blender or food processor and process, scraping down side of bowl once or twice, until mixture is smooth.
    Transfer to a freezer container or jar and cover with 1/2 inch of olive oil on top.
    Keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze for longer storage (several months).
    Scoop oil off top with a spoon before using. Pour it back over any unused portion and return to refrigerator or freezer.

    Submitted by: CM

  3. #3
    Thanks but I wasn't looking for a pesto recipe per se. I was looking for a recipe using basil paste (as opposed to fresh basil and oil) so I could figure out how much paste to use instead of fresh basil/oil.

  4. #4
    Moderator CM's Avatar
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    I would just do as you did and try to add the other pesto ingredients that were missing from your paste. Try using fresh basil this time and see if that is what makes the difference.

    You might also want to give Basil Conserve a try.

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