Pesto. I can eat it off the spoon. I can eat pesto on anything. Well, not oatmeal, of course, but you get my drift. It’s kind of like hummus, in that regard. In the photo above, the cilantro pesto is on the right. It’s much lighter in color than it’s cousin opposite: basil pesto. Ah, pesto. Speaking of pesto, what would I do without my food processor? Probably have to forgo the pesto, I guess.
In my mind, the garlic is critical to the flavor of your pesto, and you also need some nice walnuts or almonds. I know I’m a renegade, but I don’t bother with pine nuts anymore. Add a bit of salt and voila. I prefer to add almonds to cilantro pesto and walnuts to basil pesto, but it doesn’t really matter, and both work. In fact, in a blind taste taste, ok, now I’m blabbering…. So this doesn’t require many ingredients, and I tend to make enough to last in my refrigerator a week or two. The only time consuming part comes from thoroughly washing, examining, and checking all of the greens in your sink before using. It takes up a lot of time. Luckily it’s worth it, and I just make a lot at once. Pesto is delicious, and hard to screw up.
A few years ago, my friend Josephine, an avid gardner, shared with me fresh basil from her garden. I began experimenting, adding basil to every salad, soup, and entree. Later that same summer, my sister made me gluten free brown rice pasta with pesto, which has become one of my favorite comfort foods (along with mashed taters and oatmeal, in case you’re wondering). I also love to smear pesto on toasted brown rice tortillas, add a bit of spinach and sliced tomatoes for a fast and fantastic gluten free pizza.
- Huge bunch of basil or cilantro
- 4-5 Garlic cloves
- 1/2 Cup almonds or walnuts
- Olive oil, about 1/2 cup
- Salt, to taste
In the bowl of your food processor with the bottom “S” blade in place, add 4-5 cloves of garlic and pulse. Add the nuts, and while they are getting crushed and crunched, feed the cilantro or basil, and pour the olive oil through the lid into the bowl of your food processor. Sometimes the pesto looks too watery, and you should know it will firm up in the refrigerator. Chill and serve with everything. Some of my favorites: gluten free pasta, raw veggies, raw apple slices, spread on crisply toasted brown rice tortillas to make pizza, on rice or quinoa, inside a baked potato, spread on the amazing life changing whole grain delicious gluten free bread I posted last week. Betayavon!