Monday, August 8, 2011

Presto, It's Pesto!

Have you ever avoided a food thinking that you just didn't like it? I was that way with pesto. For some reason, I was convinced I disliked pesto. I know I've had it, I know I thought it left a funny aftertaste, and I know for that reason alone, I've avoided it.

Then came last weeks share and another bunch of beautifully fragrant basil. I've felt guilty because I haven't been able to use the basil fast enough in the past few weeks and have had to throw some out. I was looking for recipes that used basil and kept coming back to pesto. After reading How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother at 101 Cookbooks, I decided to give it a try. The only thing I didn't do according to the recipe was the chopping. I'm way too lazy to do all that chopping, especially when I have the perfect "pesto sized" attachment for my blender! So I did everything precisely to the recipe except I used my machine.

Ok, can I say OMG here? This stuff is awesome! I added it to some linguine from the Dreamfields pasta line (hint: you can get a coupon at the site). I use Dreamfields for the lower absorbed carbs. The flavor of the pesto was INCREDIBLE! Parmesan, garlic, basil, pine nuts and good olive oil? The bomb. I can't say enough about it--except to add that I had to have been a complete idiot to have avoided pesto for all this time. The only thing I can think is that I had pesto from a can or jar--and that just can't be as good as freshly made!

A little tip: BJ's Wholesale Club has an eight ounce bag of pine nuts for $9.99. This is a great price! I've seen them for $7 for a 4 ounce bag in grocery stores. [Susan's note: This does sort of fly in the face of the whole local food thing, but it's hard to avoid that with pine nuts as North American pine nuts are sort of hard to get.]

Finally, thanks to CSA member Velga for this tip--if you aren't going to use the pesto right away, it tends to get darker as seen here. Add a little lemon juice and the acid will help keep the color. Thanks, Velga!


Velga said...

I still have some pesto left. I keep adding it to stir-fries, and I froze some. I hope that the basil will never end!

Velga said...

By the way - if you don't have any pine nuts, you can use toasted walnuts, or any other nuts!
You can also add different greens, along with the basil and other herbs.
I've used spinach and parsley.