Make Your Own: Pesto

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Why yes, that is home-made pesto. And, yes, it is delicious. I love pesto. I am not sure I can get enough pesto. It is so versatile, and light, and tasty.

IMG_2596My original plan for this pesto was this delicious tilapia recipe, partly because it is really tasty and partly because I am home dog-sitting (see adorable dog photo) and my mom always has tilapia fillets in her freezer. I was all set, I had the green, I had the nuts, the garlic. Only problem is that I am a really scatter-brained cook (the flexibility in cooking makes me forgetful in ways I just don’t encounter in baking). I had the rice side practically finished when I realized I hadn’t made the pesto and decided to just skip it in favor of something faster.

But, I had all the ingredients, so I was going to make the pesto, just a little later than intended. Every time I make pesto, I make it a little differently and I have tried a few different recipes. This one was pretty delicious though, so I thought I would share.

Pesto

Based loosely on this recipe from The Complete Kitchen Garden.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup pine nuts
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 Cups of spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 Tbs dried basil (if you have fresh, fresh is always better, I add to taste. You could also skip it if you aren’t a fan.)
  • 1/4 Cup grated parmesean cheese (I am pretty generous with this and it tends to be heaping)
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil (plus more if needed)

IMG_2539Directions:

Mince garlic (I never feel this is adequately done in the food processor because I feel like the bowl is too big, but you could, theoretically, mince in the food processor). Add pine nuts and garlic to food processor and pulse until finely grated. Add spinach and pulse until incorporated. Add basil, parmesan and olive oil and pulse until it is the right consistency. It should be combined and sort of liquidy, but it will sort of hold together if you pick it up with a spoon.

Add to whatever dish you want: pasta with chicken and pesto, tilapia or other fish fillet, add when sautéing veggies. Do you have a good pesto recipe or a favorite something to put it on? I am always looking for a reason to eat pesto.

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