Monday, August 6, 2007


My basil plants were going crazy, so I decided it was time to make a batch of pesto.

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I really love pesto...not really sure why. I think it is just the fresh taste of the basil with the harsh flavors of the raw garlic. It doesn't make a real hearty or healthy meal, so I do a few things to make it a little better.

2 cups basil leaves (I often use half basil and half spinach, just to give it a little more of a nutritious kick)
the juice of 1 lemon
1-2 garlic gloves
handful of toasted pine nuts (this time I used pistachios, the didn't have any pine nuts at the store)
handful of grated parm cheese
salt and pepper

Combine above ingredients in food processor. Drizzle in olive oil while processing until desired consistency. Mix with cooked whole wheat pasta and a ladle full of cooking water. Sprinkle a handful or more of halved cherry or grape tomatoes and serve.

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lbmartinez said...

I, too, plan on making pesto this week. I will probably freeze it for later. I'll try your recipe, but I've heard that for freezing you are supposed to leave out the cheese and add it later.

wirrek said...

I have heard both ways, but honestly, didn't even think about that until reading your comment. I freeze in ice cube trays to add into soups and sauces, so I don't think the cheese will make much of a difference.

Robin said...

I learned a great tip for making pesto from Michael Chiarello on the Food Network. If you blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for 10-15 seconds then immediately plunge into an ice water bath and squeeze dry your pesto will remain a nice bright basil green ... if you don't do this then pesto quickly turns into an army green color due to oxidation. It really works and doesn't seem to compromise the flavor of the basil at all.