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Easy Pesto Recipe

Basil PestoDo you need an easy pesto recipe?  I have been overrun with basil!  “Janet and the Basil Stalk”…New summer thriller…watch while poor uncoordinated homeowner attempts to climb the unfurling stalks of basil up into the clouds, searching for the non-GMO fed, free ranging chicken’s golden organic egg.  Amazingly the budget for this film was only $4.99 (1 small basil plant), the hospital bill for uncoordinated homeowner’s climbing attempt, however, a mere $5,000 (insurance deductible) out of pocket budget!  I’m kidding, but it could happen.  If you know me personally, you know it really could.  Don’t know whether this film will be rated a comedy or a tragedy…probably both to bring in more revenue.

Okay, maybe its not that bad, but its close.  So I have to do something with all this basil.  Since an easy pesto recipe is so versatile I figured it was the way to go.

In a food processor I toss in the following:

2 large handfuls of organic italian basil

1 handful of organic mixed salad greens, which contains spinach

1/2 c. of roasted pine nuts (roasted in an iron skillet for 3-4 minutes)

3 large smashed garlic cloves

1/2 – 3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (the good stuff, not from a can!)

1/2-3/4 c. good extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t. fresh cracked pepper

1/4 t. kosher salt

1 quick squeeze of Agave syrup

1/2 t. fresh grated lemon peel ( because I had it on hand)

I don’t worry about drizzling in the olive oil slowly and any sort of order.  I just toss it all in at once, give it a whirl and ta da, you’re done!  Now what do you do with it?

Tonight I am making some Amish Wedding (that’s the brand) porcini mushroom pasta with diced up cooked chicken breasts that I dusted with tarragon, s&p, and lemon pepper.  Then I will add some lightly sauted sliced shitaki mushrooms, zucchini and oven dried balsamic tomatoes that I made last week.  Toss it all together, add 1/2 – 1 cup of the pesto, mix it up and your done.  I am also having a golden beet salad with red naval oranges, goat cheese and walnuts over mixed greens with an orange and dijon dressing.  You can see a great recipe here, again, feel free to add what you have in the fridge as replacements, it is what makes the meal interesting, but in a good way.

Beet Salad

If you have extra pesto, I usually make a big batch, freeze some in ice cube trays and just toss it into pasta recipes, thaw and use on flatbread pizzas, add to dull turkey burgers to make a greek style burger, add it to tomato soup for a wonderful basil tomato soup with a dollop of plain greek yogurt or defrost it and spread on a nice piece of fish as it bakes.

You might notice from my recipe, I kind of wing it.  At times when my basil is not so prolific, I have used spinach only with a few humble basil leaves and thyme and/or oregano also you might have fresh parsley that is another wonderful ”green” substitute.  My baby kale has also grown throughout the summer and has not had an issue with bugs, humidity or rain, so toss that in.  These dark greens have great vitamins and antioxidants so they say.  Just a side note, who is “they”?  Is it the same people that say not to wear white after Labor Day, don’t swim after eating because you get cramps and if you masturbate you will go cross-eyed?  Anyway, that’s a whole different blog post.  I digress.

Anyway, I also like the squeeze of agave as it just takes the edge off if your greens are a little bitter.  Other times I don’t need it, which is why it is important to taste as you go.

Did I mention above meal will be taken with a glass of Apothic Red as it just takes the edge off if you are feeling a little bitter.  Well, its a given and I am feeling bitter.  Cheers!

2 Responses to Easy Pesto Recipe

  • Welcome back! Happy to see new blog posts!

    Here’s a great recipe to use basil with (not sure it will work with gluten free…I think you can buy pasta that way!)

    One Pot Pasta

    1 pound spaghetti
    1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    3 cups halved grape tomatoes
    2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
    4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 cup grated Parmesan

    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, sausage, onion, tomatoes, basil, garlic and 4 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan.
    Serve immediately.

  • I wouldn’t mind at all. Let me know when you post I would love to read yours as well. Thanks for passing along.

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Janet TiminskyI love being a decorator & coming up with ideas and "embellishments" for my client's homes. Style should be what makes you smile, comfortable,livable & honest. Just remember, sometimes when you change the doorbell you end up changing the roof. ~Janet Timinsky
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