I love pesto.
I have always loved pesto, but somehow the idea of making my own has always intimidated me.
Is that weird?
I figure we all have those things that we just assume are too hard, or too fancy, or like somehow we’d just never get them right.
That’s me with pie crust. Double boilers. Shell fish.
The basil in my Tower Garden really began to take off, and I just had to do something.
And suddenly I felt like this might be my time. Time to face some fears, and get risky. Time to bust through some mental roadblocks.
So I grabbed a few handfuls of basil, pulled out my garlic and some olive oil, and lemons fresh off our tree. I got really excited, like you feel right before a breakthrough.
I was about to make pesto!
Until I realized: Pine nuts. I did not have any pine nuts. I knew I needed pine nuts for pesto. And I wasn’t nearly motivated enough to actually leave my hill to go fetch that one ingredient.
But I’m no quitter.
When I’ve got my mind on something, there is no stopping me.
Certainly not some lousy pine nuts.
Which is when it occurred to me: Almonds.
Somewhere along the road of life I remember hearing someone mention that you can actually make pesto using almonds.
(Is that old news?)
Well, it’s good news because I did just that and it was amazing. I did a couple batches playing around with ingredients, and found fresh lemon juice and sea salt to seal the deal.
And now I’m just trying to figure out why pesto isn’t always made from almonds.
Almonds are much less expensive than pine nuts, and I don’t know a whole lot about the nutritional value of pine nuts, but it’s hard to beat an almond when it comes to healthy foods. I’m telling you–this pesto is as good as any I’ve ever had.
So, if you want a little treat for your pasta this weekend…Or maybe a nice spread on some fresh bread with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to settle into a relaxing Friday night…I really think you ought to try this!
(This Hawaiian Sea Salt is my obsession. It was a gift to me that night I stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and thought I died and went to heaven.)
Here’s the recipe.
And by the way–What was I so afraid of?
Pesto is SO EASY to make!
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3-4 cloves garlic. (to taste,) minced or chopped
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ to ⅔ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the basil leaves, garlic, and almonds and parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- With the food processor running on low-medium, add the lemon juice and the olive oil until it forms a smooth consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss with pasta, spread on warm bread, or eat by the spoonful. 🙂 ENJOY!
Have an amazing weekend.
Would you share in comments? What are your mental roadblocks in cooking? Are there things that you’ve never tried just because you’re intimidated? I can’t wait to see the list…
PS I’m posting this sometime very early Friday morning, and I’ll soon be headed downtown to cheer on Luke in his STATE surf contest! I mentioned it on my Facebook page and opened it up for anyone to share advice/wisdom or encouragement for me to pass on to Luke…And I just have to say that I nearly cried a hundred times. I LOVE (like really LOVE) my Facebook community. And if you’re not on it, I hope you’ll come join us! Anyways, Facebook and Instagram are both great places to keep up on the daily things. Like surf contests. 🙂