Food: Presto Pesto!

I was gifted a lot of homegrown basil. If you think basil is good, you’ve gotta try it fresh out of the garden. Amazing!!! So what do you do with so much basil?

Well, the first thing I did was make lunch!
IMG_9957.JPG
A Spinach Chicken Capris salad, to be exact! I used basil, tomatoes from the farmer’s market, a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper, cubes of mozzarella, and bits of leftover roasted chicken. I was so happy eating that up!

Next, I went online to see how to make pesto. I knew the most expensive ingredient was pine nuts.

And, while I own a fancy food processor, why take it out and dust it off when you have your very own Magic Bullet Baby Bullet Baby Care Systemsitting on the kitchen counter. They have a pesto recipe on food.com, but I modified a bit. Here is what I used:

Pesto Presto!
1/2 c. pine nuts (this is the most expensive ingredient, per ounce, and you can substitute chopped almonds or walnuts if you need to.)
1/2 c. Olive oil (I bought the “robust: for dressings” variety)
50 washed basil leaves, about half a cup
3 heaping tsps. of minced garlic

I blended all of that in the baby bullet until smooth, with some bits of basil leaves still identifiable. I tasted it, and then added about:

2 tsp. salt and
2 cranks of grated pepper
1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan Cheese

I blended and tasted and it was good.

Then I poured about half in a Ziploc Snack Bag, 50 ct-2 pack
And stuck that in the freezer. Then I added about 4 TBS to some cooked vegetable spaghetti for dinner, along with more salt and pepper, and the test of the rotisserie chicken, chopped small. Yummy pasta dinner paired well with caesar salad.

IMG_9963.JPG

IMG_9960.JPG
But here’s what I learned… You need a lot of pine nuts for this much basil. This is how much I was gifted:

IMG_9956-0.JPG
And, this is how much I used for about a cup and a quarter of pesto:

IMG_9961.JPG

IMG_9962.JPG

My pesto is happy! But I bought three bags of pine-nuts at almost $3 a bag. And I wanted to save at least one bag for making humus. (When I get started on something, watch out! You may see me become domestic yet!) So… I make another yummy lunch tomorrow, possibly share some basil with my neighbor, and then one more tiny batch of pesto. After that, I have a few options:

-Make pesto without nuts.
-Replace pine nuts with almonds.
-Bite the bullet and buy more pine nuts, because it’s still cheaper than buying pesto and I made it!
-Freeze chopped basil into olive oil ice cubes.

I’m not sure which I will go with… Stay tuned!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s