Tuesday, July 13, 2010

i love pesto

Basic Pesto Recipe

I love how the rains make the herbs in our garden grow bigger and faster. When there is a flourishing, that means yummy recipes. One of the things I like making out of our garden greens is Pesto.


Everybody likes pesto. You walk into a restaurant, that's all you hear: pesto, pesto, pesto.
- Seinfeld's George Costanza


Ingredients
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (or 2-4 loosely packed cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts or walnuts, crushed (subsitute: Cashew)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated (substitute: Edam or Queso de Bola)
Note: Make sure the leaves have been thoroughly washed, and then blotted dry after washing.
You don't want any excess water on them because (1) wet leaves will clump and will be messy; and (2) the water will diminish the flavor.

Procedure

Mince the basil and oregano leaves in a blender or food processor.
* The traditional way is to use a knife and / or mortar and pestle, but that will take ages)

Add the garlic, nuts and cheese. Blend.
* Be careful not to overdo it; you'd want the leaves to look very finely chopped, and the mixture smooth but not too souplike.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the olive oil.


Serving Suggestions
  • Serve over pasta. Pesto can be used as a pasta sauce by itself, or with chicken flakes and/ or sun-dried tomatoes on the side. Pesto can also be drizzled on top of red or white sauce to add extra tang.
  • Slather over fish or chicken dishes. Real good!
  • Spread over garlic bread.
  • Mix with mayo or all-purpose cream and use as dip.
  • Use as a sandwich spread to spruce up a burger or chicken sandwich.
  • Add a few spoonfuls to chicken soup or tomato soup for that Mediterranean-ish taste.
  • Stir into risotto or plain rice.
  • Mix into mashed potatoes.
  • Bake into pastries.
  • Drizzle over a baked potato or tomato for a unique side dish.