Tuesday, October 15, 2013
A perfect way to use summer basil, pesto is the perfect sauce for pasta, sandwiches, seafood, and more—and comes together in about five minutes.
Who doesn’t love freshly made pesto bursting with the flavors of sweet summer basil and garlic?
Well, actually, I happen to know a fair number of people who “don’t care for pesto.” Though most of these individuals haven’t given it a fair shot and I’ve seen them enjoy it as part of a tomato crostini, unwittingly. If you think you don’t like pesto, I encourage you to give this ravishing sauce another shot, and keep on reading after the video for tasty recipe suggestions. A gorgeous green treat that’s even better when homemade with summer-fresh herbs, all you need is four main ingredients (basil, olive oil, parmigiania cheese, pine nuts), ten minutes, and one food processor to blend it up in your own kitchen.
Additional Prep Notes
To recap, this recipe is 4-5 cups basil, 1/2 cup each of EVOO and parmigiania cheese, a few tablespoons of water, ~1/3 cup pine nuts, 2-4 garlic cloves, and a couple dashes of salt and pepper. (I do think a bit of water is a wonderful addition that in no way dilutes the flavors but makes the sauce a bit creamier without adding more calories. Don’t use a lot, though, otherwise you’ll lose the flavor profile: all that olive oil is key.) Going half and half with Parmigiania and Romano cheeses also works well (or partly Romano), but I didn’t have any on hand; either way is super. Other variations include subbing in a few walnuts for the pine nuts, or just use all walnuts for a nice change. Get creative! You can play around and use a number of herb-nut combinations to create any number of fabulous pestos, like my parsley-pistachio, for example.
Need some culinary inspiration? (Click on the dish for the recipe.)
- Avocado crostini
- Pesto pasta with blistered cherry tomatoes and garbanzos
- Roasted eggplant terrine with goat cheese, pesto, and tomatoes
- Mediterranean sandwich with grilled vegetables and pesto
- Pesto pizza with red chard, herbed ricotta and caramelized onions
- Grilled vegetable parmigiania
However you use your pesto, don’t forget to join me in getting some into the freezer so you’ll have a summer-fresh supper ready to go in a jiffy one cold winter’s day.