Actually Cooking: Super Easy Pesto

Again, I’m sticking the recipe right up here so you don’t have to scroll through a rambling narrative on my kitchening mistakes.

Super Easy Pesto

2 oz by weight (or 4 tightly packed cups) of fresh basil.

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350F, and spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop them in the oven for ten minutes, and [carefully] stir them around halfway through. This is an optional step, but I think it makes the pesto taste so much better.

While the pine nuts are cooling, put about half the olive oil and all the basil in the food processor or blender, and grind it up. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you’re gonna be blending for a while.

Once it’s reasonably liquidy, add the parmesan and garlic and pine nuts, along with the rest of the olive oil, and blend until it’s as smooth as you’d like. You can add more olive oil to make it runnier if you’d like. This recipe comes out to the consistency of mayo or very soft butter.

That’s basically it. It keeps pretty well in the fridge.

Not pictured because I forgot and didn't want to retake the picture: two cloves garlic.
Not pictured because I forgot and didn’t want to retake the picture: two cloves garlic.

Okay. Now I’ve got the recipe out of the way. I like planting things. But not flowers. My mom likes flowers, and while I think they’re pretty and smell nice, I thinks flowers just for the sake of being flowers are kind of pointless. So I like planting herbs and veggies instead. I planted a bunch of basil a few months ago, and it grew really well. I should’ve taken a picture before I picked all the leaves.

At this point I’d like to note that all I knew about making pesto was that it’s basically basil plus cheese plus pine nuts plus olive oil plus garlic. No idea what the proportions were, so I actually did some research this time, because apparently pine nuts are like $20 a pound so like hell was I buying more than I absolutely needed. I cobbled my recipe together by kind of looking over a few different sources, like AllRecipes and Martha Stewart and whatnot.

But I had all this basil, and while my mom makes a really good spinach pesto pasta sauce, I had had a craving for actual pesto, and we didn’t have any spinach. All I needed to buy for this was pine nuts, so after a Sprouts run I had a little bag of very expensive nuts. I also discovered that toasted pine nuts smell like my Aaji’s fried shrimp recipe. I then chunked everything into the blender, and went to town.

And it turned out freaking amazing.

I mean, look at that. You can practically smell the basil through the screen.
I mean, look at that. You can practically smell the basil through the screen.

I was so proud of myself. Usually when I try a new recipe it takes me a try or two to get something that resembles the finished product (ahem. Macarons.). But this pesto actually turned out really good. I had it on gluten free toast with tomatoes on top.

The brand of bread is Schar's. It's not bad, but I like Glutino a lot better.
The brand of bread is Schar’s. It’s not bad, but I like Glutino a lot better.

And not gonna lie, not only did I have pesto and tomato toast for dinner that night, but also lunch the next day (yesterday). And pesto on gluten free ravioli last night. And may or may not be eating pesto and tomato toast for lunch today.

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest, and email me with collab ideas or just say hi at thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com.

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