I have only recently become a fan of vegetables. And by fan, I mean avid seeker-outer of fibrous plants at just about every meal. Three years ago, I wouldn’t touch vegetables; today, I can’t get enough. What changed?
The cooking method and how I dress my vegetables. I am all for roasted vegetables; in fact, my husband and I roast them fresh every night, Monday through Friday. The dressing had mostly been olive oil, salt, and pepper. Extremely basic, yes, but it never fails to create one of the finest, nuttiest, freshest tastes in the world.
Recently, though, my father-in-law gave me some of his homemade pesto. He owns his own little patch of a community garden, where he grows all sorts of fresh vegetables and herbs, including basil leaves, which he uses to make his pesto.
This pesto is, much like that olive oil concoction, the most exquisite in the world. And for the last few months, I’ve been lathering it on everything, including my vegetables. As if I didn’t hanker for them enough already, this pesto and veggie combo has taken my vegetable obsession to new heights; the veggies are a means to an end in terms of being able to access that pesto.
It is fresh, rich, zesty, pungent, and perfect -- it tastes good with anything. It’s easy and quick to make, and can be tossed in a salad or atop a fresh-off-the-grill strip; if you make extra now (while basil is in its prime), you can stock up for the winter. Basically, it’s magic. Here’s how to make the greatest pesto of your life.
Pesto Sauce Recipe (Naturally No Carb)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (if leaves are big, tear them into pieces roughly the size of a postage stamp)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (alternatively, pine nuts are traditionally used and the equivalent amount work great for this recipe)
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, lightly crushed and peeled (make sure to use roasted garlic, rather than raw)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano pecorino cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
- Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt in a blender and mix at high speed. From time to time, stop to scrape the ingredients down towards the bottom of the blender cup with a spatula.
- When ingredients are evenly blended, pour into a bowl and beat in the two grated cheeses by hand. (Don’t worry! This isn’t much work, and it results in a more interesting texture and better flavor than if you were to mix the cheese in the blender. It’s worth it!)
- Once the cheese has been evenly incorporated into the other ingredients, beat in the softened butter.
- Once all of the ingredients are evenly mixed, add just a tablespoon of hot water.
Major thanks to Oak Man, my father-in-law, who not only let me share his magnificent recipe, but who has also shown me the wonder and joy of cooking!