My Dear Friends,
I love my garden. I just made my first of many, I am sure, recipes from its contents. I highly recommend having a garden. It is not as time consuming as one would think, and the reward is so wonderful. I read several books before diving in and I highly recommend All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Though he is somewhat fanatical about his way being the only way, I did learn quite a bit about the way of having a smaller and more efficient garden.
After I finished watching my favorite cooking shows and Julie and Julia, I wanted to spend an afternoon cooking up a storm. Tomorrow begins another long week at work, and I wanted my last afternoon to be spent in my kitchen having cooking therapy. Two things I must make are hummus (great snack for when I am working) and pesto. My basil is huge! And I found some pine nuts in the freezer. Pesto is one of those ingredients that add charm and elegance to a dish. I put it on everything but mainly my sandwiches. It adds so many flavors to the sandwich. So in search for the perfect pesto recipes, I found that I actually like Weight Watchers recipe. Surprise, surprise!! I found that I did not miss the large amount of olive oil as much as I thought (though I did add a bit more). I hope you enjoy!
Adapted by Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
1 bunch fresh basil, stem removed (about 2 cups packed leaves)*
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 tablespoons water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Place the basil leaves in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt, and pulse. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons water and blend. Add the Parmesan cheese and blend. Add more water if the mixture is looking dry. Pulse for about 30 seconds more. Spoon into a storage container and add the last tablespoon of olive oil (this will absorb while it is sitting) and chill. The pesto is ready to serve now; however, I like it better after it has been chilling for about 1-2 hours.
Makes about 1 cup.
*Since the basil is from my garden, I needed to wash it. Then I dried the leaves in my salad spinner. It worked great!!! I highly suggest getting one for salad leaves (much cheaper when you buy a head rather than a bag and for drying herbs etc.).