Pesto in a Presto

Monday, 3 September 2012
pesto1
pesto




I've always lumped pesto into the fast food category albeit the healthy kind. It's easy to make, versatile, stays fresh in the fridge for up to a week or forever in a freezer, feeds the entire family and can be dished out in a jiffy if you have a particularly busy day or just can't be bothered to cook.

There's no guilt feeling nor do you have to anxiously count the calories after you've consumed the whole lot. What's not to like? Simply boil the pasta of your choice and chuck in spoonfuls of pesto and mix. Or smear it all over salmon fillets and bake in the oven for no more than 15 minutes. Voila, you've got yourself a nutritious meal.

I've always been slightly neurotic when it comes to food.  Okay, very anal particularly when I was pregnant. I've seen plenty of evil looks thrown at me by fruit and veggie sellers when I take my time to examine the entire surface of a produce. You know? Nice springy leaves. All in upright position. Leaves, people! We're talking about leaves!

There's a point to this long winded explanation.  I tend to buy potted herb plants so that I can use them at my convenience and ensure that they're always fresh. Just water them everyday to ensure the leaves don't wilt. Perhaps I should've photographed my basil plants before I stripped them half naked so apologies for the x-rated plant images here. I don't have a recipe per se as I tend to guesstimate when I'm cooking and just go by taste.

 This time round, I've used leaves from 2 potted basil plants, a 150g parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) - grated, 2 garlic cloves, a sprinkle of sea salt, 100g pine nuts - gently roasted until light brown on pan and a few glugs of extra virgin oil. Dump all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blitz. Pour the sauce into a jar or little jars and top it up with a layer of extra virgin olive oil to preserve the paste. They make excellent gifts. People tend to appreciate home made food more than store bought. I like to freeze a jar and take it out in the middle of winter for a taste of summer.

Here's a bit of trivia from Wikipedia for you. Did you know that pesto came from the Genoese word, pesta which meant to pound or crush because it was traditionally pounded in a pestle and mortar? And, it contributed to the name pestle. Pretty cool, huh?


27 comments:

  1. This looks delicious... And pretty! One of my friends is from Genoa and it's hilarious going to a restaurant with him... "pesto, this isn't pesto!? The best pesto is from genoa!" All said In a divinely smooth Italian accent of course!

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    1. This is too funny! Reminds me of a friend of mine who's a Roman. Goodness, I took a lesson from him once and never dared to go back. He has the mildest temper ever ..... until he steps into the kitchen. Marrrleeeeene, chop like thiiiis. Noooo! What are you doiiing? He scares the crap out of me.

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  2. This look so good to eat! Thank you for sharing the recipe and I can't wait to try it out and use them as dips:) beautiful pics, Marlene!

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  3. Love pesto. Absolutely love it! I hear you about being picky. I'm a very strict vegetarian, so I'm always inspecting my fruits and veggies over like a crazy person;)

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  4. That looks yummy! One of my favourite, no-effort meals involves sliced tomatoes on a plate, covered with a fillet of salmon, sprinkled with sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Heat it for a couple of minutes and then spoon some basil pesto on top. Soooo good!

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  5. Can't go wrong with pesto and this looks delish! :)

    xxTheresa

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  6. this is my fave!!!! have you ever tried spicy chicken pesto? All you need is some chicken and chili powder along with the same ingredients you have above- its sOoooo good. Guess what I"m making for dinner? Thanks for the inspo! Love finding inspo that isn't only and always fashion related. hope you are having a wonderful labor day! xO!
    www.thehautecookie.com

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  7. There's nothing wrong with ensuring that the veg you buy is topnotch - no blemishes, thanks! Your pesto looks perfect.

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  8. How long does it take your plants to re-grow the leaves?
    - Aliya :)

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  9. love pesto! italian "fast food" at its best really -- i drop some chilli in mine, just to add some 'kick'

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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  10. Looks so good! I love pesto and I think I can handle this recipe. Teri

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  11. Yum! As often as I cook, I've never made this. HAVE to try it!

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  12. The Grumps makes this and it's lovely but I hate it when he rips my plants to bits. I take leaves off like I'm doing topiary. It's very sad and it's very anal. I do it to the outside hedge too - I religiously prune with secateurs rather than the big garden scissors. Now I sound weird.

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  13. YUM! I love pesto so much - i must try this.

    xo everything-pretty.com

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  14. Yummy! I love pesto.

    Come check out the Etsy giveaway I'm hosting for your chance to win a beautiful crafted necklace.

    http://purrincup.blogspot.com/2012/09/shani-adi-giveaway.html

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  15. Can I just say again how inspiring your posts are? LOVE them!

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  16. Like everybody else, I LOVE PESTO. Have you ever tried smearing grilled cheese smeared with pesto on the inside? It's really good!

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    1. *grilled cheese smeared with pesto inside. Goodness, I don't what happened in the comment above!

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    2. I've never tried that before! What a neat idea. Right, am going to get some cheese tomorrow from the supermarket!

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  17. I had no idea about where pesto came from! Makes sense though. I love, love love pesto salad and pasta and I would have it most days if I could. I love that you use pine nuts with yours too!

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  18. I cannot get over how wonderful homemade pesto tastes. I made my first batch this year and after that can never go back to storebought pesto again.

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  19. Another fan of pesto here and my bf & I love to use it on chicken and salmon. Tasty, healthy & delicious! Never thought bout just smearing it on pasta though, so thank you for the inspiration! :)

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  20. I keep hearing about how easy pesto is to make but I'm just too lazy to actually do it. I've been loving pasta tossed with a bit of pesto and avocado this summer.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  21. Whaaaaaa...! Pesto is that easy to make? I crave pesto so often but never think to buy it and had very little idea about how it's made. Thanks for the recipe!! I think I'm going to get a plant as well. I love having small plants around the house. :)

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  22. That looks so gorgeous! What's better than food that tastes good? Food that looks good too :)

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