Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Easy Pesto

 First, the pesto recipe that I just happened to find in today's paper:

2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of pistachios
2 cups basil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup e.v. Olive oil
1/4 cup parm reg cheese

I'm kind of a fly by the seat of my pants cook (except when it comes to baking) and right off the bat I knew that I would not be using pistachios for my pesto. They aren't my favorite and I didn't have any on hand. The traditional nuts to use are pine nuts, but I didn't have those either. I'm pretty sure you can use any nut you want or leave them out altogether in pesto but I had slivered almonds so I used them. I toasted them first, then cooled them off, then dumped them in my trusty Wal-mart food processor along with the garlic.

 Then I rinsed off the basil that my dad brought me from his garden. If you've ever wanted to grow herbs definitely start with basil. It's super easy, super hardy, and the more you pick it, the more it grows.  I've seen someone lay a cinder block on it's side, fill the holes with potting soil and stick a basil plant in each side. They grew!

Threw the basil on top of the garlic/nuts I had already spun a couple times to get started.

Then while the basil was spinning I added olive oil and lemon juice down the chute. I didn't measure. I just keep in mind the amount the recipe calls for and eyeball it. In this case I used half a lemon, and poured the oil until I saw the mixture get to the consistency I wanted. I stopped it, added salt, black pepper, and a teeny bit of cayenne pepper and the cheese. I had some Parmesan (sans reggiano) leftover from earlier in the week and dumped it all in.

I spun it a little bit more and then tasted. It was spot on! So I scooped half in a Tupperware to use for the Zaida pizza I'm making tomorrow or the next day and put the rest in a bag to freeze. Pesto freezes well and in the past I've done the trick where you put it in an ice tray and freeze it then pop out the cubes and store them in a bag. That's a great idea bc you can use as much or as little as you want for soups,stews,beans, marinades etc, but in this case I didn't make a large amount and I figured I'd just keep the other half for another pizza down the road.


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