I had a thought not too long ago, why don’t I like pesto? I mean, I love every ingredient – basil, pine nuts, parmesan, spinach, oil, garlic?! Doesn’t make sense! But as every other recipe, there are so many variations, just came down to finding the right one. Well, my mum makes a D E L I C I O U S pesto so I have stolen the recipe :)
This fresh garlicky treat not only is great tossed through pasta, but is so versatile and great in other dishes. Mum has a great secret to stop the pesto from going brown, the spinach – keeps the colour and freshness.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, crushed
a handful fresh spinach, blanched in boiling water, then cooled straight away in ice cold water and liquid squeezed out
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the fresh basil leaves, garlic, toasted pine nuts, parmesan and spinach into a food processor and pulse a several times. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula.
2. Then, while the food processor is running, slowly add the oil in a steady small stream. Adding the oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the oil from separating. Occasionally, stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated and cover the surface with oil to prevent the top from going brown Enjoy! :)
Basil Pesto 10 Ways
1. Mix into dips
Mix a little pesto in with sour cream, cream cheese, greek yogurt or even guacamole. You can also serve it over baked Brie or Camembert for a little fancy starter.
Drizzle pesto over breakfast eggs (how you like tem) to add a touch of freshness.
3. Use as Pizza Sauce
Using pesto instead of tomato sauce adds an entirely different flavour to homemade pizza. Pesto is rich, so use it sparingly, unless you love lots of it! :)
Spread pesto onto toast or crusty bread, as a alternative to garlic bread.
5. Sandwiches and Wraps
Mix pesto with mayonnaise or greek yoghurt and use as in sandwiches or wraps.
6. Salad Dressings
Stir pesto into quinoa, rice or even chicken salads. You could also thin it with a little more oil or vinegar for a delicious salad.
Instead of butter, use a dab of pesto to garnish your steamed or roast vegetables. Or for something different, pop a dollop of pesto onto a baked potato instead of butter or sour cream.
A smear of pesto topped with a slice of mozzarella and fresh tomato on toast. Or top the pesto with canned tuna or white beans for a vegetarian option.
You can serve pesto with grilled steak, chicken or fish instead of marinating,
Drizzle some pesto over pumpkin or potato soup!