Pesto Mesto

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Cheerful pink gerbera

Hello there!
I hope the week has been kind to you., so far. 😉
And if it hasn’t, we can only thank God it’s the weekend!

The NyonyaCelup apologises for her extended absence in the past month.
In between a holiday Down Under and various personal / work engagements, I found it a *lil* difficult to keep up with my blog.

Freemantle Beach

A view of Freemantle Beach from the Time Gun

Kids @ Freemantle Beach

Dog @ Freemantle Beach

NOTE: This picture was taken from a distance
& by the time I reached the beach to ask the subject for his permission to post this up,
his dog had pulled him halfway across the shore.
That being said, if you are the man in this picture,
and would like this taken off, please drop me a line & it’s as good as done.

Fish & Chips @ Cicerello's

Fish & Chips @ Cicerello’s
They were OK-lar

Seafood Chowder @ Cicerello's

Seafood Chowder @ Cicerello’s
Much better!
And look at the size of those chunks in there!

Seagulls @ Cicerello's

Seagulls @ Cicerello’s
If the photo looks over exposed, it’s because spring turned to summer the week we arrived;
and we were melting under 30°C weather.

Boats docked @ Freemantle

Boat names fascinate me.

As you can see, I had a bit of fun.
But I’m back! 🙂

And I remember that I promised all of you a pesto recipe!

Now, if there’s only ONE reason to grow your own basil,
it’s got to be for making the best pesto you’ve ever tasted.
If you’ve ever taken a spoonful of pesto and gone *meh*, the basil used probably wasn’t fresh — remember what I said about it tasting like spinach?
That, or you’ve tasted a store bought bottled version.
Or, someone’s pulled a fast one on you and replaced all the basil with rocket... *meh

And unless you’re an obligate carnivore, freshly ground pesto made from the leaves of freshly harvested basil is an olfactory & gustatory experience that’s quite difficult to top;
and making it is a culinary skill everyone should learn — only because it’s sooooo easy!

Simple Basil Pesto

*NOTE: I still make my pesto in a traditional mortar & pestle as opposed to blitzing it in a food processor.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 handfuls sweet basil, freshly harvested & stalks discarded
  • lemon basil, freshly harvested, to taste – I prefer a slight twang to my pesto & lemon basil gives me that flavour without overpowering the dish, as compared to say, a lemon?
  • 1 cup Parmiggiano-Reggano / Parmesan, preferably freshly grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Peel & chop the garlic. *
  • Chop the (sweet & lemon) basil leaves. * Don’t need to get too anal about how fine they’re chopped. Everything gets pounded eventually.
  • Toast your pine nuts. Which is basically placing them in a pan over a low heat till they’re brown & well, toasty!
  • Now comes the fun part — pounding! – Start with the garlic; – followed by the basil leaves; – and then the pine nuts; – ending with 1/2 cup grated cheese. **
  • Transfer the green glop to a big(ger) bowl & slowly stir in the olive oil. Add just enough to bind the pesto together & get a gooey consistency — you’re aiming for a slightly runny cake batter.**
  • Stir in the rest of the cheese. If your pesto becomes too dry after this juncture, you can always add more oil again.

Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 20 – 30 mins, depending on your pounding skills ** Serves: 4

** All these steps can be done with a food processor, if using, which will then cut down your prep time to 15 mins. But I do recommend doing it manually.

Pesto picture tutorial

You can proceed to toss your newly pounded green goo with some freshly cooked pasta; spread it over bread; give the tomatoes a break & substitute it on your pizzas; mix it in with your salads; possibilities are endless! 🙂

Just don’t forget to invite me for your next meal. 😉

Love, The NyonyaCelup

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