Little Bit Savory: Basil & Mint Pesto

Life event this week:  Wisdom teeth removal.

I have a great nurse (hi mom!) but am getting quite tired of soft foods.
Let’s be real here: I like cream of wheat, mashed potatoes, etc.  But I’m craving pizza like you wouldn’t imagine.

….and salad, BBQ, vegetables
…..chicken
…..real food.

What was I saying?
Oh, yes.

I’m recovering and my wonderful friends have brought mashed potatoes, gelato, and flowers to help!  Very, very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Using my downtime wisely, I took the opportunity to make something I’ve always wanted to try:  Pesto!

My basil plant has been going to town lately with new leaves, so this was the perfect opportunity to use some.

I’ve always heard that pesto was simple to make, but it was still intimidating to me.  That and I can’t stand cleaning my food processor. Mom took care of that for me this time. 🙂  Guess there are some good parts to being a patient.

This recipe originally comes from Cooking Light.  One of my favorite sites/cookbooks.  But I changed it up a bit from the original.  Since I don’t care for tomatoes, so I left those out.  And it seemed like it needed a little something else.  So mint came into the party.

Oh, and a little more olive oil. Seemed a little too dry to cover our pasta.

Here’s the revamped recipe:

Basil & Mint Pesto

Modified from Cooking Light:  Sicilian Pesto

Makes ~10 servings (2 Tbsp each)

  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (I used the jarred stuff)
  • 2 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 4-5 Mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano  cheese

Place pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat.  Cook about 4 minutes, stirring very often, or until pine nuts begin to brown.  You’re just trying to toast them a bit and get the oils in the nuts flowing.

Place toast nuts and garlic in food processor; process until finely minced.

Add basil, salt, peppers, and 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Turn on the food processor and drizzle in remaining oil.  (May need to scrape the sides down a bit throughout this process if you have a large processor like I do.)

Add cheese and process until well blended and smooth.

Estimated nutrition information:  56 Calories, 5.6g Fat, 1.2g Saturated fat, 3.6g Unsaturated fat, 71mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrate, 1.2g Protein

Success! Well, kind of.  It tasted great.  But I learned that I’m not ready to eat pasta yet. Or the crab cake that went with the pasta.

Sigh….back to the mashed potatoes I go….

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