Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hey Presto - Pesto!

If you haven't realised by now, the essence of this way of eating - is simplicity! Simplicity in the number of ingredients (due to the 4 day cycle) and simplicity in the way the food is prepared because time is of the essence.

Gone are complicated, creamy concoctions and in their place are raw ingredients bursting with flavour.

This is where I introduce the star player in my weekly routine - the pesto.

I was never big on pestos - they didn't lure me in like a bowl of creamy macaroni cheese or a Napolitano sauce sprinkled with generous shavings of fresh parmesan.

But boy, was I missing out! The tangy, zingy get smooth and creamy flavours of a basil pesto, in my opinion beat most pasta sauces hands down.

So, to entice you to the pesto side of life - I have creating some pestos below, which will have your taste buds crying out for more!

I do not include garlic in any of my pestos, as I am allergic to it - but please feel free to add it to yours! Or instead use spring onions, chives or red onion.

The most fantastic thing about a pesto is that anything goes and it is so quick to make - mix a few ingredients in a blender and voila - you have a topping for pasta, fish, chicken or even lamb!

Basil Pesto:
    • Blend together fresh basil, dry toasted pine nuts (put pine nuts in a frying pan with no oil and toast until golden brown for about 30 seconds to a minute - be careful not to leave them on too long as they will burn), lemon juice, a healthy oil such as olive or avo, salt and pepper
    • Another great oil to use for this is macadamia nut oil
Basil and Coriander Pesto:
    • Blend together fresh basil, coriander, lemon juice, a handful of cashew nuts, a healthy oil, salt and pepper
Rocket and Sorrel Pesto:
    • Blend together fresh rocket, fresh sorrel, cashew nuts or dry toasted sesame seeds, lemon juice, healthy oil, salt, pepper
Pea and Spinach Pesto:
    • Blend together al dente peas and spinach, pine nuts, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, salt and pepper
Pea, Rocket and Mint Pesto:
    • Blend together al dente peas, fresh rocket and fresh or dried mint (use half a teaspoon of dried mint), dry toasted pine nuts, lemon infused olive oil and paprika salt
Celery, Onion and Soya Bean Pesto:
    • Blend together al dente celery, onion and soya beans (boil in a little water until all three are tender, but still crunchy), dry toasted sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, lemon juice, paprika salt and pepper
I hope you eat your pestos with as much gusto as I do. And remember when it comes to cooking there is no right and wrong with experimenting so I encourage you to try as many different ingredients as possible to make the best pesto for you!

Here is a challenge for you; come up with an amazing pesto and I will write a blog post dedicated to you and your pesto. So go, go, go - and get creative!

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