Yesterday was hot. The kind of heat that saps your energy along with your desire to accomplish anything outdoors, especially when you have been at the fair for a few hours taking care of animals and having projects judged. So as dinner time was approaching and I couldn't bring myself to get once again into the hot car and go to the store, I began to wrack my brain on what to make with what I have on hand.
I have come across several recipes recently that require nuts. Of course, when I run to the store I buy a package (or two if they seem really small) only to get home and realize that I only needed a tablespoon of them. An idea took root, that involved a meal that I could throw together, without leaving home and with minimal outside activity. I ran out and grabbed a basil plant, yes, we are pulling whole plants as we have a ton and it has done quite well. Our garden pantry was open and Pesto was on the menu. Pesto is an easy fresh dish and in moments I was able to make enough for supper and two containers for the freezer. This time of year being able to put food away is key.
When I perused the nuts in my pantry, I came across a package of hazelnuts. These slightly chewy, earthy nuts added a wonderful heartiness to the pesto. I always try to keep some pasta in the pantry, and try to let the kids pick it, so we added our lovely basil pesto to orange (veggie) bow ties--because bow ties are cool! I always like to slice a few fresh cherry tomatoes on top but the tomatoes aren't ripe yet, or are they? I tested the tomatoes that have blushed but didn't seem to change much the last few days and then a thought occurred to me, we planted orange cherry tomatoes! Yes! The first handful of tomatoes on our pasta! What we were left with was a wonderful and easy supper.
2 Large cloves garlic
1/2 C chopped hazelnuts
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend. I normally add half of the oil to start and then add the remaining to the desired consistency. This yielded me three 1/2 cup containers. For our family that is the perfect amount to toss with a pound of pasts.
What versions of pesto do you make??