Making a Quick Basil PestoWednesday, September 28, 2016
I didn't grow up eating pestos. Not sure my mom liked them either since I can't ever remember her ever making it. However, when I started my first cooking blog, I really began to experiment with ingredients I had never tried. Since then, I added herbs to my diet, basil in particular.
A good pesto has two main ingredients: fresh greens and nuts but you can use just about any fresh green you have on hand like spinach leaves.
|Two Main Prep Ingredients: Basil and Pine Nuts|
Then, the rest of the ingredients come into play like: parmesan cheese and garlic. I'm not a BIG NUT fan, but when they're all blended in together, I don't taste them. You do need to crush the garlic clove (if you don't have a mortar, you can crush it on a cooking board with the back of a chef's knife) and then you can put in chunks or finely chop it up. Add as little or as much as you like, I know some people like a mild garlic flavor while others, like me, like a lot!
As far as the nuts, toasting them before making the pesto I find is much better because it enhances their flavor. You can buy them already roasted in the store or you can put some nuts into a pan over low heat and toast them until golden brown. Then combine them with the basil and garlic.
|The other ingredients like garlic, parmesan cheese, and nuts makes the pesto have texture and big flavor. I highly recommend using the freshest ingredients you can find.|
|It's really important to have the best extra virgin olive oil you can find. It just makes the pesto taste so much better than generic store-bought brands.|
|Lemons just adds that extra zest to the pesto sauce|
When all blended, you have this lovely sauce that's just ready for you to pour over the pasta, chicken, fish, or to make a pesto pizza!
|If you have leftovers, you
can refrigerate it and it will keep for a good few months. Pouring a
little bit of olive or vegetable oil on the top will help keep it longer
as it creates a protective barrier.|
photo courtesy of pixabay.com
So, here's the recipe:
2 cups basil (you can also use spinach if you want or fresh parsley)
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted preferably)
1/3 cup EVOO (a good one)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Grated parmesan cheese - about 1/4 cup or more if you like
Put ingredients in blender and mix well, sprinkle more parmesan over pesto as you like. Then pour over whatever you're cooking. ENJOY!