Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's Delicious, Versatile and Easy to Make?

Pesto!  I love the taste of homemade pesto.  It's simple to make and you can use it as a sauce, a condiment, a salad dressing or a marinade.  I tend to make my pesto on the thicker side and with less oil.  I'm not against olive oil, I just don't like oily tasting food.  I feel the basil is the star here and it should shine through.

I made a batch last week and I've used in on fish, pasta, salad, scrambled eggs, a dip for vegetables and as a marinade for chicken.  It literally took me minutes to prep and make it.  You want to look for bright green and fresh looking basil, if you grow your own even better.  And feel free to send me some if you have an abundance!

You can freeze the extra pesto in ice cube trays so you can have pesto when you want it.  One cube is a perfect serving.  (do not add Parmesan cheese if freezing - it freezes better without it). 

Here's what you'll need:

1 batch of basil (about 4 cups loosely packed - I use it stems and all)
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pulse basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil and broth in a food processor until smooth.  Add in salt, pepper and cheese if using.  

A nice twist is to add in some roasted red peppers.  It gives an extra flavor layer and adds some pretty red flecks into the green.

Need help planning quick health meals for your busy life?  Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can work together to have a plan that fits you.  

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