Perfect Pesto is easy to make, the rich flavour is unforgettable, it makes a versatile dish that can be paired with almost any entree (or serve as one itself) and very healthy (especially if you omit the cheese for a vegan version and use rice or other gluten-free noodles).
BASIL is useful in maintaining liver health and eyesight, is high in vitamin A, magnesium, iron and beta carotene, reduces kidney stones, cholesterol, inflammation, fever and free radicals, is a fungicidal, antioxidant, COX-2 inhibitor which can aid in the treatment of colds, asthma, cough, acid reflux, indigestion and headaches.
GARLIC improves iron metabolism, is highly cardioprotective and as such can help prevent atherosclerosis and lower the risk of heart attack plus it's high in manganese and vitamins B6 and C, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic
OREGANO is an anti-rheumatic and anti-fungal used to treat sore throat, coughs, UTI, slow digestion, menstrual pain, malaria, insomnia, anxiety, asthma, congestion and flatulence.
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
Fresh, young Basil leaves
Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Step 2: Preparation
The most important thing for making good pesto is to chop the ingredients individually.
Whether you are using a mezzaluna, a sharp knife or some other utensil or gadget - do not blend your pesto ingredients together in one. The best pesto is comprised of hand-chopped herbs, nuts and cheese suspended in olive oil and makes it easier for the palate to detect the individual flavours as opposed to an amalgamated combination of flavours.
Step 3: Mixture
Once the individual ingredients have been minced you can mix them together with of extra virgin olive oil.
1 oz - each basil & oregano : 1/4 cup each once minced
1 tbsp - extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp - finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp - minced garlic
2 tsp - ground pine nuts
1/8 tsp - sea salt
Step 4: Preservation
You can use the pesto on pasta or in another dish, sauce, etc right away as is or flatten the herbs and add another of tablespoon of olive oil to the jar as a thin layer on top and refridgerate for later use.
Step 5: Serve
Best served on al dente penne noodles.
Optional for extra protein; as a main dish add a grilled, sliced chicken breast or mix in bite-sized pieces.
Also works well as an alternative to tomato paste on pizza.
Keeps well but fresh is always best.
For vegan penne simply omit the cheese.
Pesto is also delicious on gluten-free rice noodles.