We have purple basil plants and I really wanted some purple pesto. No luck, but it is delicious. The Bup thinks the purple basil has a stronger flavor than regular. I'm not sure, but it is yummy!
So far we've used it on pizza, in grilled cheese (delicious on sourdough bread w/ provolone cheese), in stromboli, and on toast. Yum! I'm going to use the rest as a sauce for a side dish of pasta.
We grew all our green basil plants for a $1 bunch I bought at the local farmer's market. I put the bunch into a cup of water on the windowsill and it started to grow roots. Now look at it!
The purple basil is the Bup's. He grew it from seed, first inside and then out. Now it's big enough to be planted in the garden. We're hoping to bring it inside come fall so that we can have fresh basil year round.
I love the mixture of colors. I've always like green and purple together. I used to have 2 bathing suits, identical except for color - one purple, one greenish-teal. Now my basil matches.
The thing about pesto is that it usually has some pricey ingredients and has a lot of oil. I searched for a recipe that didn't use pine nuts, cause they're crazy expensive. My mom and aunt always sub lemon juice for olive oil, so I thought I'd give that a try to lighten it up a little.
Pesto isn't really the prettiest food. This isn't as green as most because it has the purple leaves, making it a yucky shade of green. It tastes delicious, though! We're on our second batch already.
Basil Almond Pesto
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Yield: about 1 cup
Pesto is great as a sauce, spread, or mixed with some vinegar for a dressing.
2 T raw almonds
2 c fresh basil leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
Measure almonds and cook for 1.5 minutes in the microwave. Combine almonds, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, and black pepper in a food processor and pulse to lightly chop. Add olive oil and lemon juice and process until a paste forms. Once mixture is completely blended, remove from processor and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may turn brown on the top from refrigeration, but just stir it and use as needed. Pesto will keep for about 2 weeks.