Friday, March 22, 2013

Homemade Pesto

Learning new things makes me nervous. That is probably not something I should put on my resume. Actually, I think I have the exact opposite written on my resume. The fact is, I love learning new things (especially at work in a kitchen) but it is a double edged sword. Learning new things means that I get to learn new things (duh) but it also means that, for a time, I will not be exactly "good" at said new skills.

I don't like being not good.

It is that dislike that makes me come home and practice techniques over and over again (while at the same time driving Jeff crazy with my neurotic if-I-don't-master-this-I-am-going-to-get-fired tendencies.)

Some things take time to learn, while others can be mastered in about five minutes. Like

This is not a recipe you will stress over. There is nothing tedious about it.

First things first: basil. Lot's of it.

Soak the basil in water to take away any bitterness. Then its all about garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil.

Pesto typically uses pine nuts. Here I used toasted walnuts. Puree everything in a blender until it is silky smooth. Pour it in a jar and use at your own discretion. 

Pesto pizza... just do it. Recipe coming soon.

Fresh Pesto
yields about 2 cups

4 c fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup toasted walnuts
2 whole garlic cloves
2/3 c olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- - -
1. Toast walnuts on a sheet pan in a 400 degree over for 5-10 minutes; set aside
2. Fill a large bowl halfway with water and submerge basil leaves (let them sit in water while you assemble the rest of your ingredients)
3. In your blender, place walnuts, olive oil and garlic; blend until smooth
4. Add salt, lemon juice and basil leaves to blender, shaking excess water from the leaves before placing them into the blender (it is ok if a little water goes in, just give them a good shake)
5. Blend until all of basil is incorporated
6. Add cheese and pulse just to break up the Parmesan a little
7. Store pesto in a sealed jar in the refrigerator

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