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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Amita Nene's Yummy Expressions: Basil Pesto – The Italian lifeline!

Amita Nene's Yummy Expressions

Basil Pesto – The Italian lifeline!

This year post monsoons I have a grand plan to create my own little kitchen garden, growing all those amazing cherry tomatoes and jalapenos and herbs shrubs!!!

I have always been fascinated with all the exotic herbs that can be experimented with in the kitchen.  The distinct flavour and aroma if they are added to the right dish in right proportion; it can take your preparation into a very unique inimitable culinary experience.

There’s Basil… my most loved and most used of the herbs…… what would my pasta and pizza sauces be like without it
Then there is Oregano…. My omelettes and dips would be incomplete without this one
Our very own favourite Mint…… Can’t imagine my chutneys without it… and sometimes adds zest to my salad dressing
Parsley…. Makes my carrot soup extra special…

The list can go on…. And the more I experiment with these herbs in my culinary adventures, the more I come to love them. It’s almost like I can’t do without my stock of basil and oregano in the fridge anymore!
Couple of posts ago, I shared with you the very full of flavour and full of taste Pizza sauce recipe. With basil as one of its core ingredient for giving it the true essence, this sauce has been taking my sandwiches, toasts, pizzas and pastas to a very distinctive level.
Yet another truly loved creation is the Basil Pesto….
With its unusual mix of textures, Basil Pesto, I guess is the undoubted winner in every Pasta lover’s home. It is a real treat to the taste buds to explore and relish each of its fine ingredients. 
And if you have a jar of homemade Basil Pesto stacked in your refrigerator, you are ever ready to create a yummy dish within few minutes of demand.
So let’s check out how to create your very own and very ‘easy to make’ Basil Pesto at home…
To get going you need,

2 cups Fresh chopped basil leaves
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
3 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp coarsely pounded black pepper corns

Add the basil leaves and nuts in a chopper bowl. Pulse for 4-5 seconds at a time till the nuts and leaves have turned into a coarse mixture. Add garlic, pepper and cheese and continue to pulse till all ingredients are blended well. Now add olive oil, a little quantity at a time and pulse after each addition.
Your Basil Pesto is ready!!!!
It’s simple, easy and ready in minutes. It can make the most amazing pasta sauce, a delectable sandwich spread or an excellent dip for your cucumber/carrot/ radish sticks or your herbed chicken fingers.
I am waiting to try my hands at some of my own versions of Pesto… how about the tomato and almonds version? Or may be an olives pesto? Want to try zucchini with raw pumpkin seeds? Or may be a fresh herbs Pesto with cilantro and parsley?
Let the expressions flow… and let them help us go creative to dish out some yummy versions of pestos. Are you ready??
Keep watching this space for more!! Ta’da!

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