Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Salty Pesto Problem

Each year in my town there is a two day beer festival.  It began over 10 years ago on the edge of town and has gradually moved in, until 3-4 years ago it moved two blocks from our apartment.  Needless to say, I was not devastated.

This week all of our friends have been coordinating which night we were each going, where to park, etc.  I decided to take the reins and invite everyone over to eat, park their cars and walk down to the event. So earlier yesterday, I ran to our garden picked cherry tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, green peppers and basil for dinner-in our farm-to-fork society, why not?

First things first, I'll whip up some pesto and serve it with mozzarella, the tomatoes and some flat bread.  No problem right?  Well, heres the thing, sometimes its easy to get a little over zealous.  When you watch cooking shows and see them using a little bowl of salt as opposed to a shaker-it looks kinda pretentious.  But when you understand the reason is: its so the salt content can be better controlled, it makes more sense.  Shakers all dispense at varying rates and the dish gives the cook more control.  My salt dish was drying in the dishrack and as I had all my garden-fresh basil in the food processor with the pine nuts and oil, I just grabbed the container of salt and...SLIP...oh no.  Dumped probably 3 tablespoons worth of salt into the batch.  There is no turning back from that.  The pesto is destroyed.

I called one of my dinner guests and asked her to pick up some basil, but in most grocery stores they only have the prepackaged kind-not enough for a dinner for 8.  So when she arrived with it-I made a tiny bit of pesto-that was devoured and everything was fine.  But oh, how the original would have been so delicious.

My Basil Pesto Recipe

-2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
-Approx 1/4c Pine Nuts
-Olive Oil
*I apologize for the portions, I rarely measure.

 Rinse basil under cool water.  Transfer leaves to food processor.  Drizzle olive oil over top (around 2 tablespoons) and add pine nuts.  Run food processor until desired consistency.  Transfer mixture to bowl and grate Parmesan over top.  Stir together and salt to taste.  

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