Nov 17, 2012

Pesto : The Versatile

Pesto is a typical Italian sauce or more of an accompaniment. It’s usually freshly made as you need it, and is a really healthy option because it needs no processed ingredients or cooking. It’s just basil, garlic, olive oil and walnuts! Yet, it’s so versatile that you can have it with almost anything not just in the Italian cuisine!

Here’s a list of ways Pesto can be used: (the recipes for all would follow soon!)
  • Penne pasta in pesto sauce
  • Spaghetti in pesto (also called angel hair)
  • Grilled chicken with pesto
  • Salmon with pesto
  • Pesto in chicken or veg cold salads (instead of mayo or heavy dressings)
  • Pesto and chicken Panini
  • Pesto in veg sandwiches instead of mint chutneys
  • Pesto in Mexican wraps

The list is endless and you can create you own versions!

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Makes 1 cup
2 cups fresh basil leaves, picked
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (Chilgoza or Akhrot)
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A food processor/Blender/Grinder
  • If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse/grind them a few times first.
  • Add the basil with the pine nuts/walnuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.
  • Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
  • Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
  • Stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula/spoon.
  • Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.
  • Take out in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well. Pesto is ready!


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