Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Pesto Your Italian Grandmother Would Approve Of

Now that we are officially into the summer months, my posts are gearing towards more of a easy homesteading/homemaking approach with an emphasis on the easy. When it comes to cooking that is. Right now produce is gearing up which can make meals a little simpler. I'm all about minimal ingredients in the summer in order to let nature's goodness shine. And frankly, you don't need much. Between produce stands, farmers markets and perhaps your own garden, cooking on the fly certainly becomes easier. So, I look forward to passing on my little discoveries with you and hope that you also, may find pleasure in the elegance of simplicity. Case in point. Basil Pesto. Ever so delicious, simple to prepare, goes with everything and freezes amazing. As you may have seen in my previous recipe posts, my food processor is seriously my BFF. We are so close and I feel like I can share everything with her, including this pesto recipe. If it's possible, grow some of your basil because for one, it is a hardy herb and grows like crazy with minimal care. Plus, it is perfect in containers. That is what I do and I have a seriously black thumb, my kale and spinach will attest to that. I use this recipe from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis. I try to look past the fact she is beautiful because I truly do like this recipe. I like to freeze the extra in ice cube trays and later pop them into freezer bags for winter meals. Talk about a burst of summer on a cold day when you pop one of those bad boys into your minestrone. 2 Cups (packed) Fresh Basil Leaves 1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts (These can be expensive. I buy them in bulk and keep them stored in the freezer. You can also find them for a good price at Trader Joes) 1 Garlic Clove 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt (plus more to taste) 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper About 2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (just leave this out if you prefer it Vegan) In food processor (or blender)pulse chop the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped. With processor running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. I usually add a bit more because I like my pesto pretty smooth. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the cheese. Season pesto to taste. Cover and refrigerate or freeze for later use. Now enjoy the wonders it will add to your fresh summer veggies and rejoice in the fact you made it yourself. You are a total boss!

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