A special thanks to our contributor Dawn Richards from D.M.R Fine Foods for this post on Basil Pesto.
Think outside the box and enjoy a new flavor this spring. Also be sure to check out some great pasta dishes you can incorporate the pesto into; liven up those pastas!
A Taste of Spring: Basil Pesto
If you’re like me, you’ve likely found yourself with extra fresh herbs that needed to be put to good useâ€”and fast. Unlike their dried counterparts, fresh herbs are delicate and have a limited lifespan before they must be used or tossed. And recently when I ended up with extra fresh basil on my hands, I immediately turned to that one recipe that is basil goodness through and through: pesto.
The â€œwhat am I going to do with all this basil; I don’t want this to go to wasteâ€ dread was instantly replaced with giddiness over the fresh and flavorful treasure that would soon be a reality in my kitchen. My herbs angst was gone and happy days were here again.
While I excitedly brought together the amazing flavors of fresh, sweet basil, toasted nuts, garlic, Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil, I was already musing over the various ways that this pesto would be put to good use in the days ahead. Of course, there’s the classic preparation of pasta and pesto. But I was thinking beyond thatâ€”to ways to take ordinary bites and elevate them with the delectable tastes of pesto.
I soon realized that there are many dishes that pair well with pesto, most of which I already enjoy on their own without the added pesto touch. But now was the time to kick things up a notch. The results? A few of my favorites ways to indulge that I hope you’ll also consider giving a try:
*As a marinade
*As a spread on Panini
*On top of crostini
*To liven up eggs, seafood, pork and chicken
*Tossed with roasted vegetables
*As a dip for cruditÃ©
*As a base for pizzasâ€¦and more!
There’s never been a more perfect time to welcome the tastes of Spring into your kitchen. Let your imaginationâ€”and taste budsâ€”lead the way to discovering the many ways that you can enjoy the delicious flavors of pestoâ€”and eat up!
Recipe: Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts and walnuts combined
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Special Equipment: Food Processor
- Add basil and nuts to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add in garlic and pulse until mixture is thoroughly purÃ©ed.
- With the processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil through the feed tube.
- Season with salt and pepper and give one last pulse.
- Pour pesto into a bowl and stir in the cheese.
- Garnish with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil (optional).
–Dawn M. Richards
About the blogger:
Dawn M. Richards is the owner of the food brand, D.M.R. Fine Foods, an award-winning home chef, caterer, culinary instructor, blogger, minister of the Gospel and J.D., who works in the corporate arena as a Senior Commercial and Contracts professional. As an avid food lover, Dawn enjoys sharing her passion for all things culinary. Visit Dawn online at dmrfinefoods.blogspot.com to learn more.