Sunday, July 21, 2013

Making Pesto...at home

You know how we made pesto in lab last week? There was still a bunch of basil left, so I took it home with me :) And then made more pesto! I made some small adjustments to the recipe they followed in lab. I used less oil, since I prefer a thicker pesto. I added more garlic (we're big fans of garlic) and a little less cheese. 

I tried covering with plastic wrap, putting it right against the surface, in an attempt to keep the bright green color, but the stop still oxidized. Too bad I didn't see the tip about blanching basil to get bright green pesto before I made it! I'll try it the next time Chantel brings in a whole bunch of basil leaves.

Also, I made it in my Magic Bullet - in the large attachment. I think that I could get away with less oil next time if I make it in the food processor - things pulse better there. Then I think it would freeze well, without the parmesan. 

One last thing - I didn't have any pine nuts on hand, since I hadn't been planning on making any pesto. I used slivered almonds instead, and toasted them first. I think it still tasted great.

Recipe: Basil Pesto

Ingredients:
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried and removed from stems
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 tsp minced garlic (packed)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
Toast the almonds, if they weren't already toasted. You can either put them in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking every few minutes, or in a 350 degree oven. As soon as you can smell them, they're done. Keep a close eye on them, since it only takes a second for them to go from being toasted to being burned.

Put the nuts and garlic into your food processor or blender, pulse until well chopped. Add the basil and keep mixing. Drizzle in the oil as needed, to keep the motor moving. 

Once at the desired consistency, dump out into a bowl with an airtight lid, and stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. If desired, top with some more olive oil, it'll help keep the green color.

2 cups fresh basil - always store stems in water, NEVER put in the fridge. they will turn black

Covered with plastic wrap - still turned dark green :(

Bright green underneath the dark green top layer

snack on Saturday - honey wheat bread toasted with pesto and topped with havarti

breakfast on Sunday - honey wheat bread toasted with pesto and topped with fried eggs