No doubt you have heard of the cookbook, “The Joy of Cooking”…well, I do not have a copy but I understand it is a major wow. As you can see in the above photo, I do have some other cookbooks and of course I cruise the internet to find new and interesting things to do with food. I also subscribe to a food magazine.
SIDEBAR: This subscription is my only splurge and I do it for YOU people so we can wrangle the food budgets together! END SIDEBAR.
It was a radio program, though, which caught my rapt attention. The chef was talking about PESTO and my mouth began to water. I searched through the fridge to see what greens I might use for a pesto of my very own and was thrilled to realize I had spinach on hand. I could just as easily have used broccoli; both could have been combined. I made the pesto, drizzled it over gluten free penne pasta and enjoyed it so much that I plan to create another as soon as possible!
It’s CHEAP, it’s EASY, it tastes fresh and dreamy and it is loaded with nutrition AND charm!
Here’s the formula for making pesto:
Pick a seed or some type of nut: Sunflower seeds work with low food budgets, for example. But almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or sesame seeds will be wonderful. They just cost more.
Choose a base: Pick from Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Mint, dark leafy greens–all finely chopped. Fresh herbs if you have them…you know the drill about the Kitchen Kops and how they don’t care…
Decide on seasoning: Garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, thyme, tarragon, oregano
Be cheesy: Parmesan *That’s the most affordable choice but there are others if your budget can take the pain.
Finishing touches: chopped tomatoes, roasted red peppers would be just dandy.
So you toast the seeds or nuts in a dry skillet til lightly brown and fragrant. Allow them to cool and pulse them in a food processor til finely ground.
Use 3 cups total of your base greens and herbs in any combo that hits your hot button.
Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon total of the seasonings you like best.
Grate 1/2 cup of the cheese you’ll be using. Add everything to the food processor and pulse to combine. **There is the jarred cheese used for spaghetti and it is usually on the affordable side.
As the pesto pulses, dribble some oil to incorporate it and to make it smooth. Stir in the chopped tomatoes at this point, if that’s what you are using.
This makes about 1 cup of pesto; 1/2 cup is a serving meant to top cooked pasta noodles. Serve this immediately as a warm dish and stand back for rave reviews from your diners!
Mother Connie put lots of mushrooms in her spinach pesto and the lemon juice that went into the dish really brightened the flavor and made a truly satisfying dish! The mushrooms helped amp up the protein value, too. ***And when mushroom pieces are so fine, picky eaters don’t really find anything to complain about! grin/giggle
We know that many of our Members are living on a dime, working hard to keep body and soul together. We understand that you are holding EBT cards for WIC and SNAP and you are doing all you know to S T R E T C H those food dollars. Those of you who visit food banks, food pantries, have food commodities and hope for the generosity of gardeners in your area have our undying support and admiration. We hope we are helpful in giving you ideas that you are interested to eat and can afford to have the ingredients to make them.
We love having all the new Members that have joined lately! We may have to install “room stretchers” to hold us all in when we meet around the Club House table! grin/giggle We hope you feel the love we are sending your way.