Do you believe that my first semester (7 weeks) of commercial cookery has already finished!? I can’t believe how quick that’s gone! So many amazing simple dishes have been created in that time, which I would bring home to share the fruits of my labour with my husband. He’d come home, eat what I made and say “you can make that any time of the week!” Thank you for such a lovely compliment 🙂 In those seven weeks, I’ve learnt to make, from scratch, pasta paste (in commercial cookery terms, pasta dough for us normal people!) ravioli filled with ricotta and herbs, savoury tart paste, green chicken curry, mayonnaise, risotto, samosas, crepe suzette, basil pesto, hollandaise sauce, sandwiches, crepes suzette, pizza paste (dough) and many salads. WOW! That’s not even everything I made! I have learnt so many new and exciting things that when I was home I either didn’t have time to try, was too scared to try or it never really interested me to make it at home. Another step on my food journey, and I’m not scared to make pasta or pizza dough from scratch or make mayonnaise (which is a must know in any commercial kitchen!) So today’s recipe I’m sharing is pesto. We all have our own way of making pesto and there are so many variations of pesto that sometimes we just get overwhelmed. Elle, my teacher, told the class she like roast pistachios in her pesto, so I thought I’d give it a try (we made pesto in class but with pine nuts). Both in my opinion taste amazing and I think I’ve become hooked on fresh basil – how good does it smell! I’m in heaven whenever I get fresh basil. I think it has to be one of my favourite herbs. How about you, do you like basil as much as me? I love using pesto on my pasta as I’m sure we all do, but did you know there are so many uses for pesto. Basil pesto on steak is a taste sensation! I’ve never had it on steak until a couple of weeks ago (and I’m planning to spread it on my toasted steak sandwich tonight!) but I’ll tell you now, I think it’s something I’ll always have on my steak from now on. Pesto makes a wonderful dip. OMG! The taste of this pesto straight from the food processor is amazing! Here’s some other inspiration for using this pesto that I thought you might like: The Kitchn have 10 ways to use pesto beyond pasta. The Pioneer Woman Cooks shows uses for pesto. Rachel Kelly writes for The Guardian about 25 recipe ideas for leftover pesto. And The Yummy Life shares with us a step by step process of making pesto, with how to freeze your pesto. TIP 1: Use any nuts you like. Traditionally, pine nuts are used but the variations are endless – walnuts, almonds or even macadamia nuts. I’m thinking I’ll try some macadamia next time to mix things up a bit. TIP 2: If you like garlic, please add it. I would add it with the basil and nuts. You could also try roasting the garlic too if you’re not a raw garlic fan. TIP 3: If freezing, add a layer of olive oil on top of the ice tray to seal in the colours. Once frozen place the frozen pesto cubes into a sealable bag. Defrost by placing in the fridge overnight in a sealed bag to keep the colour and flavours. I wouldn’t defrost it in the microwave as you could cook the pesto accidentally. The only way your pesto could lose its vibrant green colour is if it hasn’t been sealed correctly at freezing. I haven’t tried freezing it – it never lasts long enough to freeze! PREP: 5 minutes food processing COOK: 8 minutes + 10 minutes cooling MAKES: 2 cups (470 grams) INGREDIENTS: 1 small packet (80 grams) pistachio nuts, de-shelled 2 bunches fresh basil, leaves only, washed and dried thoroughly 120 grams parmesan cheese, shaved 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon lime juice Sea salt to taste 1 cup olive oil METHOD: Place the pistachios in a small frypan and dry roast over the lowest heat. Stir occasionally for about 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Take care not to take your eyes off the nuts as they can burn quite quickly. Set aside until cooled. Place the nuts, basil and parmesan into the food processor and pulse until coarse paste has formed. Mix in the juices and salt, then slowly drizzle the oil while pulsing until a puree has formed. Serve immediately or place in airtight jars in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays for up to six months.
Fabulous Foodie Fridays #15 held at Bake Play Smile and Create Bake Make is where you can come and share your recipes and find new inspiration every weekend. Great to be a part of a wonderful foodie community.
As seen on Simple Supper Tuesday #29 linkup party – the party features QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!
It’s my first time at Pure Blog Love (#4) at The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with Heidi and PicNic with Nicole and I’ve already found some great food inspiration – you should come on over! Another wonderful ‘own creations’ party that brings lots of people from all over the world together.