If you follow My Utensil Crock on Instagram, you recently saw this gem:
I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my basil plant. I bought you a year ago this month, and you have thrived in this bowl that I fill with water when I don’t forget. I took you to Michigan last summer, where you helped out with some mahi and other recipes, and it looks like you’re coming back with me this year again. You’re spindly and get caught in my cabinets now, and we just noticed when your grandma visited that you have started a new bloom at the bottom and it might be time for some pesto and a trim. In any case, thank you for thriving indoors in my apartment (and producing the 8 leaves of basil I need each month), and filling me with wonder every day as to how you are still kickin’ it. . . #basilbirthday #basil #herbs #homagetoherbs #unpopularhashtags #plants #greenery #somehowstillalive
My basil plant. What a lanky fella.
It was time to make pesto. There was no way around it.
I looked back at my last pesto post – and found that it is from FIVE YEARS AGO. I mean, where does the time go. I didn’t even realize my blog was that old. MAN.
Anyway, I saw a comment from my friend JM on that post, and she mentioned that she makes pesto with arugula. And I had arugula. Perfect. I was not in the mood for pine nuts, so I was going to use walnuts, like I had in the Spinach-Walnut Pesto recipe. And as I lined up all of the ingredients and reached for the walnuts…
I had pecans, so threw caution to the wind, and it went just fine. As it turns out, you can pretty much blend anything with basil and garlic and call it pesto. And I bet you could even fudge those a bit.
There are no rules any more.
The pecans and arugula made this batch of pesto just a smidge bitter. Not very bitter, and not as bitter as arugula on its own, but a nice twist.
If you don’t like pesto, have you tried making it yourself? I find that when I don’t think I like a dish, if I make it myself, chances go up that I will like it. I don’t have kids, but this sounds like a good tactic to use on picky eaters.
If you do like pesto, and you haven’t made it before, it’s super easy. Just a few ingredients in a mini food processor and a whirl; a stir of cheese and you’re done.
If you have made pesto, and you haven’t mixed up your ingredients, give these guys a go and let me know what you think.
If you make pesto, and you do mix up your ingredients, what are the other options that you try and like? Let me know in the comments…
That should cover everyone possible, yes? Did I forget a category?
I always forget I like pesto, and then I have it and it all comes back to me. I used this pesto on a pizza – stay tuned for that recipe/combo, shortly. I also just spread it on plain bread, spooned some on scrambled eggs, and used it to top poached chicken. Pesto is a great staple dip to have in your fridge.
- .25 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup basil (a large heaping palmful)
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T grated parmesan cheese
- Place the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat while you prep the other ingredients. When they start to smell fragrant, stir them a bit and toast them for about 30 more seconds.
- Remove the pecans from heat and place them in a bowl to cool.
- Once the pecans are cool, place the first 4 ingredients (pecans, basil, arugula, and garlic) in a mini food processor. Pulse until everything is chopped very finely.
- Then stream in the oil through the holes in the top of the food processor while the motor is running. Add more oil depending on how thin you want your pesto. 3 Tablespoons will be about the consistency of hummus.
- Transfer the mixture to a small bowl (for serving) or container (for storage), and stir in the cheese.
This is how much basil I used in one batch:
And this is what my basil plant looks like after two batches of pesto:
Come on little guy, you have one more growth spurt in you!
Adapted from this My Utensil Crock pesto recipe, plus JM’s arugula suggestion.