Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pesto, Pesto, it's the Besto

This recipe kills three birds with one stone-- wow, that's really doesn't sound like a nice thing to say. This recipe can be made three ways: Rocket Pesto, Arugula Pesto, or Spinach Pesto- yum, yum, and yum.

As you will see below, cream cheese is an excellent complement to pesto, so they are very often paired together.

Here's some ways I recommend using your pesto:
  • Over pasta as a sauce.
  • On pizza instead of tomato sauce, or in little dollops- as a topping.
  • Toast a hearty bread, spread some cream cheese on, then spread pesto over the top. Add a tomato on top, and a basil leaf if you're so inclined. This is my favorite use for pesto.
  • On crackers with cream cheese.
  • Make into a torta by layering pesto, cream cheese, and sundried tomatoes-- probably best done on a springform pan.
  • Use on sandwiches instead of mayo or mustard.
  • Coat chicken in and bake.
  • In/ on omelettes or quiche.

Pesto on toasted 5-seed bread, topped with cream cheese, pesto, tomato, and basil.

How to make it all happen:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups either rocket, arugula, or spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup (approximately) pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used mostly freshly grated, but when I didn't have enough I added some store bought grated from a bag)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Making pesto is super easy:
  1. Toast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes. I just stuck them in the toaster oven on baking paper and turned the dial to "lightly toast". Some of them burned on, but I tasted them and they were delicious burnt, so I still used them in the pesto.
  2. Throw toasted pine nuts and all remaining ingredients in the food processor, or blender if you don't have a processor-- and turn it on.
  3. Turn off and scrape the sides, then give it a go again-- add more oil olive if it's too thick. Personally, I like it thicker and less oily, but if you like it thinner (for using over pasta especially) add more oil.
  4. Taste it before serving it to people, to make sure it's delicious-- if not salty enough, add more Parmesan or a little salt.


hot garlic said...

Look who's photography lessons are paying off big time! This looks GREAT! Love the pic and presentation!

So are we still on for tomorrow? We are up for it if you are.

Okay, and just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... I am entering this contest to go to NYC and film an online cooking show. They wanted a "regional" flare and the audition video could only be TWO minutes long! Cook something in two minutes?! Crazy talk!

So anyway, as I thought of what I could do, I was inspired by the food you made for us last week and I made my own and am now calling them "wrapadillas". I made a lemon avacodo mash to go with it, instead of guacamole. I am posting it on my blog and my video is already uploaded on to recipezaar. I will give you full credit for being my inspiration!

floridagirlinsydney said...

Avocado lemon mash, not guacamole? That's pretty funny.

hot garlic said...

Why is it funny? Is it too yuppie-foo-foo? It was really good!

I will post the recipe soon, where I will of COURSE give you the credit that is due. I wanted to mention it in my video, but it was too nerve wracking trying to stay within the 2 minutes and remember everything else I had to say.

That was hilarious that you thought I was giving Mexico the credit instead of you, I loved your comment.

Chutney Love said...

This looks so yummy! Really love your blog, and thanks for the comment on mine!

floridagirlinsydney said...

Thanks for the love Chutney Love-- your blog name is great.