Herbs & Spices
 How are your basil plants looking?  I have a lush garden of this great herb.  But what to do with all of it is the question.  I like to make pesto and also dry it.  Here are a few pesto recipes for you.  Remember you can change from basil to cilantro, parsley or??
Cilantro and walnuts is also great as is spinach or parsley and almonds.  You can freeze for up to 3 months.
You can also chop up your basil and put in ice trays along with water and freeze.  If you don’t put the basil in water or oil it will turn black!!
Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 15 min
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.
Cooks' notes:
• Pesto keeps, its surface covered with plastic wrap, chilled, 1 week.
Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch fresh parsley, stemmed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
2 tablespoons almonds, toasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Hand chop the garlic, parsley, cilantro, and almonds. Combine the pesto
mixture with the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Serve
as a dipping sauce with the tortitas de papas cruda y elote.
Yield: 1 cup
This recipe makes exactly the right amount of pesto for one pound of pasta.  It is also good as a topping for baked potatoes or broiled fish, a dressing for steamed green beans or zucchini, a sandwich spread, and a flavoring for soups, stews, risottos and omelets.
Best served immediately, but it will keep for approximately 3 days.
1    cup well packed fresh basil leaves
1    cup chopped tomatoes
1    garlic clove, pressed r minced
1    tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1/2    teaspoon salt
to toast pine nuts, spread them in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and bake in a conventional or toaster oven at 350 for about 3 to 5 minutes or you can do this on the stove top.
Rinse and drain the basil leaves.  In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and salt and puree until smooth.  You may need to stop several times to scrape the sides of the blender or processor bowl with a rubber spatula.
Per 1 oz serving:  13 calories; .7g protein, .7g fat, 1.6g carbohydrates, 135mg sodium, .3 fiber. Points 0
Pasta Pesto
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, optional
Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water until al dente. Just before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the water.
In a medium saute pan over medium high heat, toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes, set aside. Place pan back on the heat over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the pasta
water. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. If the sauce is too dry, add the remaining pasta water. Add the basil to the pan. Saute until just wilted. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Place the pasta in a large bowl. Season the pasta with salt. Top the pasta with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the pasta and cheese (if using). Toss to combine, taste and adjust seasonings, serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Herbs & Spices
Friday, August 25, 2006
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