ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Presto, Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Basil’s in the food processor along with the garlic. Uh-oh- I put in enough garlic for 2 cups of basil and I only had one cup; a trip to the veggie drawer and Presto…

Carrot, Celery, Basil, Pumpkin Seed Pesto

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

2 ribs celery, cut into chunks

1 carrot, cut into chunks

6 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly or put through a garlic press

3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (unsalted)

1/2 parmigiano reggiano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, pulse basil, celery, carrot and garlic until very finely chopped. Add cheese and pumpkin seeds and process until desired consistency is reached. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil. Process another few seconds and voila!

Makes ~ 2 1/2 cups of pesto

Pesto should be refrigerated. Can be frozen and thawed as needed.

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The Pesto Pizza Variations

Pesto Pizza

This makes a delicious appetizer or a meal depending upon any additions you top it with. It’s so easy, it’s almost embarrassing, but oh, so special. You can do this without a pizza stone but using one is highly recommended.

1 pizza dough, uncooked (usually available in grocery stores in the dairy section or the pizza section of larger stores OR some pizzerias will sell you one- failing that check the freezer section of the grocery store).

4 T shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggianno or Grana Padano cheese

1.5-2 cups prepared pesto (see my prior post)

8 oz mozzarella cheese (or soy mozzarella), shredded

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a pizza stone (or cookie sheet if you must) with cooking spray. Stretch dough to fill stone.

Poke multiple holes in dough to help reduce the dough from puffing up. Sprinkle Parm on top of dough and bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to be sure cheese is not burning.

Remove dough from oven, spread pesto on pizza, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 10 minutes.

Serve HOT!

Variations: Add a defrosted and drained 10 oz box of chopped spinach between pesto and mozzarella.

Add some sliced and cooked sausage or chicken or anything your imagination and taste buds like. Cook as above.

Serves 3-4 as a main meal, 8-10 as an appetizer.

 


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Yes to Pesto

Basil Pesto

Nothing smells as good as fresh basil and its natural destiny Pesto. Don’t limit pesto to pasta. IMG_2131.JPGPesto is great on eggs, toast, chicken, fish. The flavor is deep and earthy and a little goes a long way.

2 cups (packed) washed and dried fresh basil, stems removed

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 cup walnuts or pine nuts or a combination of both

1/2 extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmigiano Regianno

salt and black pepper to taste

In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine the basil, garlic and nuts. Chop until almost a puree. With the food processor motor running, add the olive oil in a stream. Then add the cheese until just combined to the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields ~ 1.5 cups of pesto: refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.