Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homemade Pesto

My  mom is an expert gardener. She often sends me pictures of her vegetable haul which includes tomatoes, zucchini (courgette), yellow squash, spaghetti squash, fresh herbs and rhubarb. She was telling me recently how she's preserving the vegetables and making tons of pesto. I got jealous and immediately wanted pesto.

I haven't had much luck finding spaghetti squash in London so when I saw Whole Foods had them, I bit the bullet and bought two. Savoring these precious squashes and making a variety of pasta sauces for them made me happy. In addition to my go-to bolognese, I also decided to make pesto. Handling fresh basil for the first time in a looong time felt so good. The smell is so strong but not in an overpowering way, just in an enjoyable, nostalgic way.

It's extremely easy to make pesto but I still did some research on different types recipes. Every variation I read had basil, pine nuts and garlic. But there was one that substituted half an avocado for the olive oil. I still used a little bit of olive oil for consistency but I'm all about the avocado. I also swapped ground almonds for Parmesan cheese.

In a food processor, combine basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, avocado, ground almonds and olive oil. Blend until the texture resembles pesto with no large chunks of leaves remaining. I initially tried this in a blender but there wasn't enough weight to make this happen so definitely do a food processor. I liked that some of the pine nuts weren't ground up but feel free to follow your heart on that one.

The Parmesan cheese is apparently important for flavoring so omitting it left the pesto not as dynamic in flavor. I would definitely add some onion powder or salt to it next time.

Mixed with some spaghetti squash and chicken and you have a well-balanced and fall-ful meal! You could use this as a marinade for chicken as well to make pesto chicken.

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon almond meal (or Parmesan cheese)
  • Olive oil
  1. In a food processor, add the basil leaves (I removed most of the stems), garlic (lightly chopped), avocado, pine nuts and almond meal (or cheese, if using). Top with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Blend until the mixture is a course paste. If it's too dense, add more olive oil.
  3. Serve over spaghetti squash or regular pasta.

No comments:

Post a Comment