Basil Becomes…

BarbaraBarons GoToPesto photo 8.12.2016Pesto is one of my ways to go ‘green’ and savor that garden flavor long past summer! No waste here!  I pick fresh basil leaves from my garden with the wonderful smell (of basil) immediately bursting into the air and onto my hands!  High in potassium and vitamin A. Simply wash, pat dry, add in blender with the ingredients below, portion into ice cube trays, freeze, and you have a“Go-To” Pesto from summer into the fall and winter months!

Ingredients:

Basil leaves, 1 bunch washed and dried

Grated Romano Cheese- ½ cup

Extra Virgin Olive Oil ¼ cup

Garlic 2 medium cloves, chopped or pressed.

Pignoli Nuts ¼ cup ( you can substitute walnuts)

Kitchen Tools: Dish towel or paper towel. Blender or Food Processor. Measuring cup and garlic press or knife.

Wash and Towel dry basil leaves. Add all ingredients to Blender or Food Processor with sharp blades/

Puree on high power to form a paste. Spoon paste into ice cube tray, freeze, and use when you are ready to make your next green meal creation.

Simply Melt 1 -2 cubes in a pan as a base for pasta, chicken or salmon. For a creamier pasta sauce that clings better to pasta, l cut in the softened pesto with a fork to 3 Tablespoons of Neufchatel cheese (or low fat cream cheese). Save about 1 cup of pasta water, and add about 1/8 to ¼ cup of hot starchy water to loosen the mixture until it coats the spoon.

You may also know that pesto is not for pasta alone. It works great over salmon or chicken before baking.  When I run out of the garden fresh reserve, I learned that jarred pesto sauces are hit or miss! Some are so oily that they separate and don’t evenly coat the pasta.   While I am not a paid sponsor, I do like Kirkland Pesto from Cosco.  It holds together and tastes almost as good as my own!

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