It’s harvest time!
For days now my basil plants have been calling my name. Stalks of bright green leaves reaching toward me, my taste buds go nuts when I think about the reward for nuturing these plants through our recent drought. Every morning I take the dog out back and there they are standing tall as if to say, hey lady over here!! So last night . . . . I listened!
I LOVE basil pesto! I could smother it over just about anything – tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, crispy baguette toasts, eggs, roasted vegetables, grilled salmon, inside a veggie/cheese wrap or on a portobella mushroom sandwich (see previous post)!
PK especially likes pesto tossed with pasta. So that was the plan until I decided to grill some chicken and toss that in too!
Here’s a quick pic of the basil just before it took a spin in the blender. I literally had armfuls! As you can imagine the fragrance filled the kitchen so I took my time, kinda just hung out . . . . you know, let it linger and enjoyed a few deep yoga breaths.
Here’s the dish right before I tossed it all together . . . .
I used bowtie pasta (aka farfelle). It seems to hold just the right amount of pesto for every bite! I also used parmesan reggiano, my favorite! Pesto has a rich flavor so a little goes a long way! Though it’s loaded with fat, it’s primarily monounsaturated, a healthier fat. It’s also packed with powerful antioxidants, and compounds that may help reduce inflammation. It’s a great source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A and Iron. A treat indeed!!
I have a copy of Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis, so I used her recipe. Delicious!! If you don’t grow basil it will be showing up at the Farmer’s Markets soon (if you haven’t already found it)! Enjoy!!
2 cups (packed) basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1. In a food processor or blender, pulse together the basil, pine nuts, garlic, sea salt and pepper and parmesan cheese.
2. With the blender running, slowly add the the olive oil until pesto is smooth with a thick consistency.
For Basil Pasta Dish above, toss the finished pesto with pasta of choice and add grilled chicken if desired. This dish is great served hot or cold!
Pesto Recipe Gently Adapted From,
Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis
Clarkson Potter Publishers, Copyright 2005