While it doesn't look as vibrant as regular green basil it still has that wonderful basil aroma and taste.
This may be a coincidence but January 17th wasn't just the birthday of this blog but it was also Pesto Day. So to celebrate, I've made purple basil pesto. To be perfectly honest, it isn't as eye catching as the traditional green, it looks a bit like olive paste in colour but it tastes every bit as good.
1 bunch purple basil, washed, leaves picked (cleaned weight 35 grams)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 teaspoons pine nuts
15 grams grated Reggiano Parmigiano
I've made this using a mortar and pestle - you could use a food processor but I find the mortar & pestle does it quicker.
Place the garlic and a good pinch of sea salt into the pestle. Pound until smooth. Add in the basil leaves and mash until they start to break down - tip in the pine nuts and continue to grind. Lastly add the grated Parmigiano and stir it through - it will thicken the mixture. Keep stirring as you start drizzling in the olive oil until it reaches the right consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
To store, cover the pesto generously with a layer of oil to stop it from oxidising.