Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pesto plus ideas for recipes

Pesto is very forgiving. The measurements below can be altered or changed depending on your taste. I usually don't measure, but just put handfuls in at at time. I judge based on when it is first processed and then again when I add the oil. I add the oil slowly so I can adjust. I also substitute basil and pine nuts for mint and walnuts. Then I place it with cucumber sandwiches for a twist on a traditional tea sandwiches. Also can be made with spinach, cilantro, parsley, etc.

Fresh homemade Pesto:

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves and tender stems
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
3-6 TBSP Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place first 5 ingredients in your food processor. Pulse till mixed, the turn on low speed and slowly pour in olive oil until it makes a thick paste. Serve at room temperature.

I love summer pesto. I make lots of it in the summer when the Basil is fresh and plentiful. I pick on a weekly basis (if not more often), so I need lots of ideas. Pesto can be used in the following ways:

  • Freeze in ice cube trays for later use. Then remove and put in plastic baggie. Omit the garlic and cheese. Add right before serving.
  • On fresh, warm pasta
  • On a sandwich with fresh cut tomatoes and mozzarella (my sister and I's favorite sandwich in the summer. It is even good on a panini sandwich- slightly toasted)
  • Pizza (recipe written below)
  • On top of steak
  • Potatoes
  • Soup (think summer tomato soup)
  • Grilled Vegetables
  • On chicken or white fish-- use as a marinated
  • In lasagna instead of tomato sauce (or as one of the layers)
So there are a few ideas. If you have any other, let me know. I am always trying new ways to add pest into my recipes.

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