Hey friends and happy September!!
What a gorgeous time of year in Manhattan. The weather is just perfect — a pleasant 73 degrees, low humidity. Perfect for outdoor dining, or taking a walk!
So tonight I wanted to share a recipe that I have been LOVING recently. HOMEMADE PESTO!
It sounds super intimidating, but let me tell you, it is the easiest, MOST DELICIOUS thing you can whip up in the kitchen, that is so versatile, you can literally eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
For this rendition, I served it with broiled codfish, pasta and roasted tomatoes! (Zucchini pasta for me, and regular pasta for a particular gentleman!)
Pesto is typically not vegan because it uses parmasan cheese, but you can easily make it so — or in my case, two versions! — simply by taking out a portion before adding the cheese!
And I always make extra so I have it in my fridge whenever the craving strikes. I like to top my eggs with it in the morning, you can put in on sandwiches, use it as a dip for veggies or crackers, top fish/steak/chicken/tofu, as a topping for baked potatoes, on pasta. The uses are literally endless!
And plus, it’s gluten and grain free, and has a vegan option!
Here’s What You Need:
2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional step: toast them)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 – 1/2 cup GOOD extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depending on how strong of a garlic flavor you like)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup good, freshly grated parmesan cheese (not from a green canister 😉 ) (Vegan option – omit)
Couldn’t be easier:
First, (and this is optional), I like to toast my pine nuts in a dry frying pan for about 3 minutes over medium low heat until they become fragrant and lightly golden brown. Though optional, this seriously SERIOUSLY adds a depth of flavor that is unrivaled.
Once they’ve cooled for a few minutes, throw all the ingredients into the food processor, except for the olive oil and cheese, and pulse numerous times. You’ll need to stop and scrape the sides several times. Then, start to drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running. You’ll notice the color and texture begin to change. Scrape the sides once or twice. You’ll know you’ve got enough olive oil when it becomes thick and creamy.
At this point, if you are making vegan pesto, stop here. Or remove some for your dairy-free eaters, and continue on to the final step for the full shabam.
Finally, add the parmesan cheese and pulse until just incorporated. (You don’t want to pulse it too much, because the heat generated from the food processor will melt the cheese.)
(If tossing with pasta, reserve a few Tablespoons of the pasta water, and mix with the pesto to create the PERFECT sauce consistency!)
Oh my gosh, this was absolutely AMAZING. Pesto has such a bright, fresh flavor that adds a rich and luxuriousness to any dish.
Not to mention, it is visually striking! That emerald green color is so beautiful, and really pops off the plate, especially with red tomatoes and white fish!
I am obsessed. I make this probably twice a week. It is so healthy – full of vitamins, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats! PERFECT!
And to make this meal, drizzle your codfish with 1 tsp olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper nad fresh rosemary. I then baked it in a 400 degree oven for 18 minutes, until it begins to flake. I served zucchini noodles and “normal” pasta, along with grape tomatoes that I sauteed in a little olive oil on the stove until they began to split. (This really intensifies their sweetness and gives them an amazing texture!) Top the fish with more pesto to serve!
Make this meal! You’ll love it!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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