Saturday, July 12, 2008

Presto!! Basil and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Another farmer's market find was this fragrant bunch of basil. I brought it home and "planted" it in a glass of water in the fridge and covered it with a plastic bag while I thought about what I would do with it. Because I was thirsty, I used a few sprigs to mix myself a drink. Mushed up the basil in my Flavour Shaker, added some fresh lime juice, a sprinkle of sugar, some gin and some bubbly water. Very refreshing!

This left me with the majority of the basil bush still left, so I thought I'd make some pesto, eat it with something and freeze the rest. Living in Chinatown without a car sometimes makes non-Asian groceries difficult to find if you just want to walk a few blocks. Since Asian people don't often eat pine nuts, I gave up on looking for these. I walked over to Sagarino's that often has a very good selection of cheese (I needed parmesan) and did not find pine nuts of course, but thought these pumpkin seeds would do. I also thought about using walnuts, but curiously there was not a walnut to be found in the joint!

So here goes the pesto.

1 cup of pumpkin seeds and 3 cloves of crushed garlic.

I blended these up with my hand blender. I initially made quite a mess since the bowl was too big and the blender flung seeds everywhere. I'm still picking them off of the floor!

Then I blended up the basil leaves (the whole bunch) and mixed it with freshly grated parmesan (about 1 cup). This mixture was rather dry, so I mixed in a bit of olive oil until it was more unctuous.

The next night for dinner I grilled up some chicken, red peppers and mixed it all with some spaghetti! The rest I'm planning on freezing in individual servings (since I only needed a few tbsps. per meal, so there's still a lot left!)

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