It took 24 hours to ponder my first blog post before I realized it shouldn’t take so much thought… I just needed to start cooking for it to come to me & it did!
Monday night I dove into my first experience making homemade pesto; seemed easy enough. I’ve been so excited to start an herb garden to kick off the first summer with our big patio & my Siam Queen Thai Basil went wild! Well, I went a bit wild too… with the garlic. You’ll find in my food ventures that I’m not big on following recipes (will explain my philosophy in its own post soon enough!) & for once, my absentmindedness paired with a disregard for proportions turned into an initial flop.
With an enthusiasm for cooking passed down from my Grandma, I whipped out her 70s era Cuisinart food processor to get chopping. In goes a handful of pine nuts & an unidentified amount of garlic cloves. 15 sec, a swipe of my rubber spatula, & we’re on to the fresh basil & fresh grated parm. I pumped up the my fresh picked stock of basil with some grocery store basil. Flavor was delicious, but as I picked leaves, the plant seemed to look more & more like a mutant GMO basil plant. Delish, nonetheless, but prob will prob consider some organic action. Can’t forget I threw in some fresh Apple Mint & Parsley from my garden as well!
I bought some good Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make my first pesto feel special. I drizzled it into my roaring food processor until I found a good consistency. A few more spatula swipes & 10-15 sec of blending & it was time for a taste… that almost burnt my tongue off! Holy raw garlic overload!
Unwilling to give up on my precious homegrown basil, I went into pesto emergency mode. This is what I get for bragging that I never cook anything bad! I reached for more parm & blend blend blend… no good. More pine nuts & blend blend blend & more olive oil drizzles… still no good. Lightbulb!! Pesto Cream Sauce!! So I threw in some FAGE Greek Yogurt waiting to mix with red curry paste to marinade chicken (for Tuesday’s summer dinner party) & blend blend blend. FAIL turned WIN by way of yogurt!!
I tossed a few tablespoons of the pesto cream (a little at a time of course, as it still had quite the garlic punch) with some rotini pasta & paired it with my Italian Ranch Grilled Chicken for a perfect summer dinner!
~~~~ Post Script ~~~~
Not just being a bit more attentive, I may follow suit of a recommendation from one of my fave food blogs, 101 cookbooks, and hand chop my next attempt at pesto. Texture & elbow grease are both staples in my cooking (as much as I don’t want to overlook my love for the ol’ Cuisinart), so recipe-following or not, I look forward to putting a bit more attention & love into the next go-round.
Finally, in all the pesto frenzy, I continued the FAIL by not taking any photos of my creation & re-creation & final deliciousness. My fresh basil & non-recipe notes (see: 3-9!! cloves of garlic) will have to suffice. Beginnings of the beginning…
Pesto To Taste
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic – To start!! Add more to taste
- 1-2 handfuls of Pine Nuts – or Walnuts or Toasted Almonds or…
- 3-4 fistfulls of Fresh Basil – Pick, Rinse, Spin
- 1-2 handfuls of Fresh Grated Parm – or Asiago or Romano or Mahon
- Good Extra Virgin!! Olive Oil – enough to get the consistency you like
- S&P to taste
- Flair: Mint – Parsley – Cilantro&Lime – Spinach&Arugula&Lemon – Rosemary&Walnut – Sundried Tomatoes – Yogurt or Ricotta for a Creamy Sauce – Roasted Red Peppers
- Chop garlic & pine nuts together first 15 sec in a food processor.
- Add basil, parm, & S&P, process another 15 sec.
- Turn processor on & slowly drizzle olive oil until you find a consistency you like. Light but pasty so it sticks to your pasta, salmon, etc.
- For fridge storage, make sure to either create a film by drizzling a film of olive oil or putting saran wrap on top. For freezer storage, spoon into an ice cube tray, freeze overnight, & store in air-tight freezer bags for a quick dinner.
Many thanks to my brave tastetesters who didn’t flinch (too much) in sharing everlasting garlic breath w/ me.
Lex & Dre ❤ my fave people to cook for!