I know that in almost every post I say “if I only had 1 message to get across…” and so far that has included kids’ involvement in cooking, bravery to try new foods, food label reading and the banning canned goods. But, I am back with another main theme: Cooking isn’t that hard – it can be accessible to anyone. Hey, I work with a tiny kitchen that has a small fridge (breaks my heart) and no dishwasher. So if I can do it, you can. A perfect example – home-made pesto.
People think to buy pesto, not make it. I had a bunch of basil on it’s way out, and I knew I had to do something. Plus I couldn’t miss the opportunity to use my fav kitchen gadget – the immersion blender. I didn’t follow any recipes, and through trial and error I got it right. My first batch was quite garlicy to the point of un-edible (but like mother like daughter my Mama just told me she did the same thing).
Little Bites Home Made Pesto:
1 bunch of fresh basil (always keep basil in the fridge wrapped in wet paper tower)
1/4 cup heat-healthy olive oil to start– I usually end up adding more
Salt + Pepper
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
1.Clean basil well and tear off leaves from stems — a great thing for the kids to do
2. Add basil leaves, garlic, dash of s+p and 1/4 cup olive oil to start
3. Use an immersion to puree until smooth
4. Add more olive oil to thin out as needed. Add more salt, pepper, garlic for flavoring
Many recipes call for pine nuts which adds texture, so feel free to add in 1/4 cup at a time. I didn’t have any in my cabinet, so I had to improvise using what I had, and it came out great without them. Many recipes also call for parmesan cheese, but that’s just adding fat and calories to something that already has a fair amount of oil.
Ways to eat pesto:
1. Add onto pasta, or in my case gnocchi
2. Mix into potatoes – taste great in mashed or roasted potatoes
3. Use as a spread on your next turkey or egg sandwich instead of high fat mayo and high sugar ketchup
4. Delicious as a salad dressing
5. Add onto orzo + cherry tomatoes for a quick, easy and inexpensive side dish
6. Flavor up your hummus
7. Add onto plain grilled or baked chicken breast or fish