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Homemade Pesto

Naomi Making Pesto in the Food Processor

The ancient Romans used to make a garlic slash cheese slash oil slash salt slash vinegar paste called Moretum. They ate it as a spread on bread. Today, we have a version of Moretum called Pesto. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces.

In this blog, you will see how I make pesto from scratch. The first ingredient, Sweet Basil Leaves comes directly from my garden. Then you will see each step of the process in photos.

I love pesto on shrimp, chicken, and pasta. Pesto is not a cheap product, in the store just a few ounces of it costs a few dollars but when feeding a large family this can really add up. The most expensive part of pesto, in my area, is the pine nuts. Using other kinds of nuts makes the pesto sauce turn out weird. 

When I have enough land I would like to have my own herb garden. I want to grow and dry all of my own herbs. My favorite of all time is the sweet Italian basil, the prime ingredient for pesto. If you follow my gardening blog, you will see that I currently grow cherry tomatoes,  basil, cilantro, potatoes, carrots, onions and strawberries. You would also know that I have five pesto plants, two planted in the ground and three planted in pots.

My plan is to purchase bulk pine nuts and make at least fifty small jars of pesto to sell at the farmers market every year. It will be a fun little tradition just for me.

Sweet Basil Leaves
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Pine Nuts

My philosophy about making food is that it should be done with love. When I think about it, food is something that nourishes the body; this nourishment defines how healthy we are and how long we live. It also defines the health of the people we serve it to. I have no reason to think that chefs cook food with any amount of love. They may do it because they enjoy cooking, but do they really think about every element of the process?

I want to grow my own food from seed, control the soil, control the nutrients, and nurture the plant from the very beginning. It would be wonderful to produce everything that goes into my kitchen, but unfortunately that is impossible. I can only produce certain food items. 

The philosophy, 'cook with love' is not originally mine; I learned this philosophy from a very nice gentleman in New York City. His father died and he was still mourning. We shared a small Passover dinner together which he prepared himself. He explained the importance of cooking with love, and I absorbed that philosophy ever since. I always make an effort to learn things from the people that I meet in life.

Anyway, here how to make pesto. Enjoy!

Start with growing your own Sweet Basil

Wash and chop basil

Took into food processor and pulse

Pine Nuts, Olive Oil, Garlic

Parmesan Cheese

Olive Oil - this is where the Fat and Calories come from

Mix it up again in Food Processor

Image from the Internet - this is what it should look like
I cannot count how many unique recipes one can make with pest. My favorite is one that my mother makes usually during the summer. It is a shrimp, rice and cherry tomato recipe that first appeared in  Sunset magazine. It is low calorie and delicious. Here are some images of different pesto dishes you can make.

spaghetti and  chicken

Salmon and Pesto prep

If you have any pesto recipes you would like to share, please post it here.



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