Monday, August 31, 2009

Pesto Magic

I'm back from my unplanned blogging break. Just couldn't swing it last week.

Mmmm, pesto magic! I am impressed by how so few ingredients can become such a flavorful dish! The basil and garlic are from our garden. The pine nuts are from Trader Joe's, the best source I've found.

Though I'm by-the-book, pesto is one of those amazingly flexible dishes. The DH, much more the experimenter, likes to change it up. We've had it made with other greens, other nuts, pumpkin seeds, a dash of hot sauce, etc. Here's my basic recipe, from the Big Red Betty Crocker cookbook.

2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor. Cover and blend on medium speed about 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth.
  2. Use pesto immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month (color of pesto will darken as it ages).

Note: I freeze mine much longer than 1 month. I look forward to its fresh taste in the middle of winter!

Do you have a favorite pesto variation?


sweetcakes said...

Sometimes I use walnuts instead of pine nuts in my pesto.

I just went to Trader Joes last week and bought the last bag of "toasted" pine nuts. I was sad to see that they raised the price on their pine nuts to $7.99 for an 8oz bag. Ouch!

Hootie said...

Welcome back Steph!

My recipe seems a mirror to yours. I too freeze my pesto for longer than one month. My favorite dish using my pesto is to toss it over (cooked) cheese filled tortellini. Mmmm!

marlena said...

nice to have you back. I use James Beard's recipe for pesto, but it's pretty close. Mine is frozen until it is used up. Love the stuff!

Marilyn Miller said...

This post has reminded me that I must make some pesto for the freezer. Yummmm!

I hope you had a successful business trip.

Southern Touch Catering said...

THis is almost my exact recipe too. I forgo the pinenuts sometime due to price, but other than that it is the same, which reminds me I have basil growing like crazy I need to get it picked before it goes into bloom!!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me a good vegan substitution for the cheese in a pesto like this? Or would it just not be enough like true pesto? --Spirituality of Tea