Pesto, and a failed experiment

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All rite, I’m going to level with you, I’m going through some serious writer’s block over here. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the summer. I’m going to blame everything on the summer. Don’t get me wrong, the summer is great, but it should be renamed the season of endless possibilities, none of which you will fulfill, unless one of those possibilities is sitting on your rumpus in front of the tv.

I guess the moral of this little story, is to be a slacker, and strive for not achieving anything, that way by not achieving anything, you will have accomplished what you set out for! Perfect.

Or you can go out and make pesto. Lemme explain.

Pesto is one of those things that are just plain ole stupid easy to make, and for some reason, if you make it you’re like the biggest superstar ever (Hummus is the same thing…that’s another post). So this goes perfectly with our new found understanding of the summer. Aim to do as little as possible, and glean as much as you can from it.

Pesto is as simple as throwing things into a food processor and turning it on (assuming you can figure out how to put it all together and figure out how to turn it on, however, from what I hear there are some people out there who still have a hard time with their food processor). Ok you also have to toast the pine nuts, and chop the garlic up, but there’s really not that much work for this whole thing.

Start by going to your backyard and picking some basil. A good 4-5 cups of leaves should do the trick.

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Toast the pine nuts until they are fragrant, about 4-5 minutes, making sure to stir them the whole time, so they don’t burn.

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Just as a side, don’t get pine nuts that are from China, seriously. It’s the weirdest thing. There’s this phenomenon known to happen when eating certain types of pine nuts, that it will basically cause you to taste metal in your mouth, no matter what you’re eating. Sounds too crazy to be true? Well it’s not, and I should know. I’ve personally suffered from this ordeal…twice. Not pleasant. And apparently it’s more common to with pine nuts that are from China. Why this all happens? I’m not sure, and I don’t know if they, whoever they are, know themselves.

Throw the pine nuts, basil, and roughly chopped garlic in the food processor, along with salt and pepper, and give it a few pulses. Like so.

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Then, with the processor running, and the feed tube on the food processor (that’s the little do-hickey on the top of the food processor, Goldie), pour your olive oil in there, and that will allow the oil to pour out really slowly, and incorporate into the pest.

The reason for the slow addition of oil is because we’re making an emulsion, and with any emulsion, the oil has to be coaxed to want to stick around with whatever water you’re coaxing it onto.

And there you have it, home made pesto.

The options are limitless, well almost limitless. I’m not suggesting to eat it with cereal, but you can do a lot with pesto, and for some reason, the one thing I wanted to make was a bread pudding with it. Some sort of savory bread pudding.

So I had the old and dried out challah, I cut it into cubes, and set it on the counter for 2 days to dry out. (This allows whatever liquid you’re using for the bread pudding, to be absorbed by the bread).

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I then took some eggs, milk, mozzarella and pecorino cheese, pesto, and salt and pepper, and mixed it all together. And poured it over the bread.

IMG_4163 Then I topped that with some more cheese, and some basil leaves, and baked it until it was set.

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So since you read this far, I’m going to let you in on a secret. The “and a failed experiment” part of the title was referring to this little concoction. It was just plain ole weird. You know it’s not good when something other than hot dogs, tastes like hot dogs. I have no idea why it did, but it just tasted weird. Oh well, you live and learn right?

The pesto was still awesome, and yeah I know traditional pesto has parmesan in it, but I usually keep it out when I make it so I can serve it with meat.

Because you’ve been extra awesome today, and you’ve put up with my mediocre post, and a lot of blabbering, I’m going to give you another thing you can do with pesto, make pizza with it, but not just any pizza, potato-pesto pizza. You might think it sounds horrific, but trust me, it’s awesome. Just roll out your pizza dough, spread some pesto on top, then spread some cooked potato over top (cooked in the microwave is the fastest way to do that), top with red onions, and whatever cheese you want (I like it with some goat cheese), and bake. As my mom always says: “Don’t knock it, ‘till you try it”

Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups of basil leaves
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the basil leaves, roughly chopped garlic, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper in your food processor, and pulse a few times to chop it all up. You may have to scrape down the sides, to chop it evenly.
  2. With the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube, so it pours it in slowly, until the pesto comes to the consistency you want it to be. It can range from thicker to more runny, it’s up to you. I like mine on the thicker side. (If your fancy food processor doesn’t have a feed tube, you can just pour it in yourself, in a thin trickle.)
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4 thoughts on “Pesto, and a failed experiment

  1. Potato Pizza, that sounds awesome! I actually am more of a fan of lemon lime pizza, basically you mix the dough with lemon juice then you shmear an orange marmalade for sauce and top with slices of lemon and lime. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
    Hey don’t knock it till you’ve tried it

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  2. Yum! I’m loving this blog… full of scratch cooking. Just discov’d it on JOK. I make my own pesto also, also parve without parmesan. It’s really great on roasted tomatoes, and even better, I did a chicken stir-fry w it. Pesto + balsamic vinegar +honey, then salt and pepper. That makes really great, strong-tasting pesto chicken. Shalom!

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