So I went through this culinary mission in the past – bought a small pot of Basil every-time i used to go down to my local supermarket and tried keeping the plant vibrant / healthy / alive for as long as i could – no luck –
After doing this 3 times over with various methods of watering, giving it sunlight and even talking to it – Eventually I gave up gardening and switched to plan B :
The Versatile Pesto
When it comes to making pesto, you can invest in a good processor if you like, but you can also make it using a pestle and mortar. If you have a blunt blade from your processor then don’t chuck it, but keep it specially for making pesto or marinades where you need to bruise out the flavour, instead of chopping. You may think it’s nice to toast the pine nuts until they’re coloured, to give them a nutty taste, but the really good pestos I’ve tasted in Italy just have them very lightly toasted, to give a creaminess rather than a nuttiness. Pesto is normally made with green basil, but purple basil looks good if you can get hold of some. Another way, slightly more American, uses rocket instead of basil – it’s fragrant and interesting with roasted meats, but I prefer this classic pesto recipe.
Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto genovese) – pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding
Traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), and Fiore Sardo (cheese made from sheep’s milk).
Tip : If you want to freeze the pesto you make, omit the cheese (it doesn’t freeze well). Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and fill each pocket with the pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use, defrost and add in grated Parmesan or Romano.
Here’s how to make a traditional pesto :
Why Versatile ?
Pesto is commonly used on pasta, potatoes and string beans are also traditionally added to the dish.
Garnish a Soup: Soupe au pistou, a French bean and vegetable stew, is meant to be served with a drizzle of pesto over top. We love this with potato soup, corn chowder, and many other favorites, too!
Drizzle pesto over your favorite breakfast eggs to add a touch of herbs and cheese.
Mix it into your Dips : mix a little pesto in with sour cream, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or even guacamole!
Use Pesto instead of traditional Pizza Sauce for a variation. Instead of garlic bread, spread pesto onto crusty bread and toast
Salad Dressings : Stir this intense sauce into grain, rice, or chicken salads. Thinned with a little
more oil or vinegar, we have a quick vinaigrette for summer salads. Whisk into buttermilk for an Italian version of ranch dressing.
Sauce the Meat : Pesto goes amazingly well with grilled steak, pork chops, chicken, and even fish so you don’t have to worry about spicing or marinating your meat. You can also season meatloaf or meatballs with pesto.