Friday, 17 February 2012

WHB Basil pesto

You'd think after almost five years of food blogging that I would have a basic recipe for basil pesto on my blog.  You would also think I could photograph pesto in focus.  You might even expect I could make a basic couscous salad with pesto.  I regret to inform you: No, No and No!

I almost didn't post this because the top photo wasn't as in focus as I had dreamt it might be (and it is the best of a bad lot).  But the pesto was still green in the airtight container after a week.  It is one of the best that I have even made.  So I am sharing it with you despite blurry photos, wilting basil leaves and crumbs on my table. 

Some days you just have to take me as I am.  I never promised sumptuous photos.  Surely you wont mind if you taste this pesto.  It really was wonderful.  Fragrant, tasty and brilliantly green.  Great in a seeded bun with tomato and cheese when you have been swimming.  Quite cheesy.  (Note to self: find a good basic recipes for vegan pesto that works for me!)

It is also fantastic on chia bread.  But here is a tip!  Don't store your pesto in a purple airtight container.  Because you will surely open the fridge and curse at how your glorious green pesto has discoloured overnight.  Murky brown pesto just doesn't have the same appeal.  I didn't cover mine with oil as the experts recommend.  Yet once the lid was off the purple tub, the pesto miraculously was green and stayed this colour in the airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Lastly, a spoonful of pesto over a minestrone-style soup is delicious.   Which made me realise I have also never posted about a basic minestrone.  Let's leave that for another time.  For now, I will just feel my blog is that teensy bit closer to completion with this pesto recipe.

I am sending this to Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu who is hosting this week's Weekend Herb Blogging #321, the event coordinated by Haalo and founded by Kalyn.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Kalyn's stuffed peppers
This time two years ago: CNY Potluck, Pearl Balls and Healthy Treats
This time three years ago: MLLA8 Dal Makhani
This time four years ago: PPN #52 Gyoza and Salad

Basil Pesto
Adapted from taste.com.au
I think it made about 1 cup but will check next time
  • 45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (I used leaves and stems of 1 bunch)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 60g (3/4 cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) good olive oil
Blitz in blender until smooth.  Keep in fridge in an airtight container - I didn't cover it with oil and it was still green after a week.

On the stereo
Latitude 20: Arthur Lyman

26 comments:

  1. Aaahh... Pesto - ladle it on *anything*, and I'm happy. It's such a versatile food. Dip, spread, toss, drizzle, and I'm happy. And it's so variable. It sure is one of those "soul foods".

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    1. Thanks Matt - agree - E always likes to ask for pasta and pesto but it is like a universal seasoning isn't it!

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  2. This is something I have been meaning to put on my blog too! I love pesto and use it in so many ways, I agree that it's wonderful as a sandwich spread. I make it with nutritional yeast flakes and salt as a substitute for parmesan. It keeps in the fridge for ages, when you don't polish it all off quickly. ;)

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    1. Thanks Mel - the simple stuff can easily fall by the wayside in blogging - would be interested to see you post about your pesto

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  3. It's definitely a gorgeous colour! I only wish I could like traditional pesto, but there's something about the combination of basil and pine nuts that has never worked for me :(

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    1. Thanks Hannah - never come across someone who dislikes pesto before but I can see that it doesn't work for everyone - oh well I guess you need to keep the nuts for your raw sweets :-)

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  4. I made pesto twice this week. Cooper loves it as do I. I like to make mine with cashew nuts and add a wee squeeze of lemon to keep the beautiful colour. Your photos are great, I didn't notice any of them out of focus, so dinna fash yursel (ask hubby) :)

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    1. Thanks Jac - Sylvia is unsure about pesto - she used to love it with pasta but I think even that no longer interests her - and thanks for the photo encouragement :-)

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  5. Your photos are just fine by me :) Especially the third - that looks like a good roll. Also, it makes me feel better for my own not-in-focus photos, which I can still manage despite the fancy camera ;)

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    1. Thanks Kari - glad the roll photo made it look as good as it tasted - and my photo still can focus on the wrong thing despite my fancy camera!

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  6. gah I haven't had pesto in WAY too long now that it's winter! I should have frozen some down but failed this year. Love the idea of stirring it into soup!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I wish I was organised enough to make and freeze pasta but sadly not - at least it gives you even more to look forward to for summer :-)

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  7. Stop it Johanna! I seriously just at a big whoppin' lunch and the pic of your sandwich is making me hungry. Seriously... That sandwich looks simply scrumptious.

    I have a new cookbook that is making pesto out of kale & walnut instead of basil and pine nut. I am planning on testing the waters with kale & pecan as I have a freezer load of frozen shelled pecan. Don't see how any fresh veggie and nut combination can really go wrong.

    Once again and as always, thank you for sharing your posts!

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    1. Thanks Chucky - I have made kale and walnut pesto and highly recommend it - agree that vegie and nut is an excellent combination - you have made me think this might be a good place to add some links of other fancier pestos I have made - if energy holds up!

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  8. I would never have realized the photo was out of focus (see, my eyes are even MORE out of focus than the photo!) or noticed the crumbs on the table if you hadn't mentioned them! I love a good pesto. This one sounds terrific. And the purple container is so cute--too bad it didn't preserve the pesto color the way it should have!

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    1. Thanks Ricki - I convinced myself that there was enough in focus on the top photo to post it but I had visions of a far sharper image - and it was cathartic to write about my disappointment rather than feeling slightly annoyed every time I looked at it

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  9. I think it looks great - I've never made or eaten pesto, but keep meaning too. Love the versatile uses you've put it to as well :-)

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    1. Thanks C - pesto is quite easy - though I find it easier with my hand held blender attachment than in a regular food processor

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  10. LOL - good tip about the purple container - I have purple airtight containers that would be the right size for pesto.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - as long as you know it will be green inside you can enjoy it in a purple container :-)

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  11. You just can't beat home made pesto can you - the colour is so fresh and vibrant, I can almost taste it from here!

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    1. Thanks Chele - there are so many sub-standard pestos in the shops - I think it is because it doesn't keep for weeks and weeks very well - home made is best

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  12. That sandwich with the seeded bun pesto and delicious fillings looks so good! I love pesto but so rarely make it because basil is so expensive except in the summer.

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    1. Thanks Ashley - basil just smells of summer so I never yearn for it the same way in winter - the bun is a capeseed roll from Bakers Delight - everything looks good in these rolls :-)

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  13. So bright and delicious looking! Thanks for the tip on how to keep the pesto from turning brown and thanks, too for joining in WHB#321.

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    1. Thanks Lynne - realised my wording was misleading re leaving the lid off the purple container - have amended it so hopefully it makes more sense - I think it was using more oil than usual that kept the pesto bright but am not quite sure

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