Nov 6, 2015

Classic Fresh Basil Pesto from scratch


The fondness for convenience foods in India has grown in leaps and bounds.Processed food is just everywhere, despite numerous news stories warning us of the dangers.The key to the success of processed food is is not only quick and simple but also reliable.

Though my mom was a career woman and had limited time in the kitchen ,had never seen a single processed food in my house.Yes,I am harping about it but hats off to her except for an occasional sauce or a jam bottle everything was made from scratch .It is labour intensive but the satisfaction of not spoiling your and your loved ones health is there at the end of the day.

Have always tried my best to make masalas and sauces from scratch but I also do give in to the lure of the colourful bottles and cans and laziness.But with age I have slowly started to like the idea of making your own convenience food which is healthy and less expensive too.

Pesto is a traditional Italian Recipe and has the distinct flavours of fresh basil,pine nuts,garlic,olive oil and cheese.Its used as a sauce for pasta,as a sauce for sandwiches ,as a pizza sauce,as salad dressing or just to flavour a hot bowl of soup.Pine nuts can be substituted with walnuts too.The sauce is diluted with milk or cream in a Pasta.The ingredients are pounded together in a pestle..hence the name pesto.

In this classic version of pesto, the basil leaves are blanched in hot boiling water and then shocked in ice water to give the sauce a brilliant green hue and to reduce any bitterness.Pesto is best when had fresh but can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 2 weeks with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface.

You Require (makes 1/2 cup)

2 tbsp walnuts/ pine nuts ,Toasted and chopped
2C fresh basil leaves ,loosely packed , blanched and shocked
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
I tsp chopped garlic
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend into a smooth paste.
Use as required.

For a vegan version of Pesto omit the cheese.

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