Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homemade Pesto

Sorry this is the only photo I have of the pesto I made...I actually froze the bulk of the recipe to use at a later date.  I scooped out just enough to have for lunch the other day!  It was so delicious and easy to make.  You can use a food processor or blender, even the mini food prep works just fine!  I didn't believe that sunflower seeds could be a good substitute for pesto but I'll tell you I might even become a convert and use them all the time!  For one they are cheaper than pine nuts, and don't alter the flavor much.  Plus you can give it to kids with nut or any other type of allergies!  

Homemade Pesto Sauce
(Makes enough pesto for 1 pound of pasta)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup pine nuts (sunflower seeds can be used instead if you have allergies)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 handfuls fresh basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
a pinch of crushed red pepper, optional
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place garlic, pine nuts or seeds, and parmesan cheese in a food processor.  Process until ingredients form a crumbly texture.  Place cheese mixture into a small bowl.  Place basil leaves into the food processor and chop leaves finely.  Add the cheese mixture into the processor along with the basil and process while slowly adding the olive oil until a smooth paste forms. Pour over cooked pasta, eat and enjoy! Or freeze for a later time!!  

Other uses for pesto:
Spread on your favorite sandwich, drizzle on a caprese salad, use it in a cold pasta salad, brush on your corn on the cob, brush on your grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp, the ideas are endless!  Please share ways you use pesto in the comment box below!! I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions!!


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