Brrrrr, is it cold today in NYC. The wind is howling, the trees look depressed, and my dog had to get a shot. It’s Sunday, and Sunday is for meal prep. I did a lot of cooking, errands, cleaning, food shopping, and prepping foods for my first week on my new reset; I enjoyed every second. Last night, I had a few friends over for a dinner party, and purchased a carton of basil. A concern I have with basil is, it either gets used, or it doesn’t and goes rotten. I am vowing this year to be more cognizant of the foods in our fridge and do weekly “clean out” meals… so tonight is no exception. Hence, the pesto.
Pesto is a blend of herbs, oils, fats, and of course, basil, as it’s principle ingredient. Nowadays, people toy around with varieties of pesto including spinach pesto, kale pesto, walnut asiago pesto; the list is endless. I’m a traditionalist with a lot of recipes (unless I am making things healthier, hence cassava instead of breadcrumb), and pesto is one that I stick to the basics: garlic, basil, olive oil, and grated parmesan cheese.
I have to admit, I’m biased to pesto because I love the color green, and I also really appreciate the taste and aromas of garlic. Garlic is incredibly powerful and nutritious: it helps with heart disease, cholesterol levels, and is a great brain food too! Basil is one of those ingredients you can never go wrong with as well. To start, I pulled apart 3-4 bushels of basil and ripped the leaves into smaller seconds. I placed these pieces into a small food processor. Then I added in the parmesan (I’d say about 1/3 cup of cheese). I pulsed the processor until the cheese and basil combined and became a rice mixture.
Next, I added in the olive oil. BE GENEROUS HERE. First of all, olive oil is one of the most healthiest things to cook with and eat. If you haven’t already, please watch SALT.FAT.ACID.HEAT on Netflix, the FAT episode talks all about olive oil and its properties. I added the oil and blended in the processor until the consistently became smoother. My last step was to add the minced garlic. I used only two cloves and this was plenty. Pulse the mixture again, and you may need to add more cheese, a touch more oil, etc. until the consistency is to your liking. Me? I like pesto be on the thicker, chunkier side.
Pesto is most often tossed with pasta (show here with organic brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s), but can be added to fish, chicken, on top of lamb skewers, or on bruschetta toast. Enjoy and NOMaste 🙂