Food processors are really nifty little devices. They’re similar to blenders but more specialized in their function. And they just inspire, in their own way. As I was purchasing my food processor, my mind was racing with ideas about all the things I could, and would, make. Heck, I really just wanted to do my best Vince Offer (the Slap Chop guy) imitation: a carefully prepped kitchen with fresh ingredients laying among a beautiful butcher’s block, just waiting to be chopped, minced, mixed, and blended. All done not with a capable knife, but some handy kitchen gadget while having your ears flooded by a borderline over-the-top quick-talker’s convincing that “YOU NEED THIS PRODUCT, HOW ARE YOU LIVING WITHOUT ONE?!” If you know me, you are undoubtedly smirking and nodding your head, thinking, “Yes, you Nick could definitely fill that role.” Alas, it is not so. Yet. But let’s not get confused- this post is not about the conveniences afforded by a food processor (or a Slap Chop), or about my affinity for playing ridiculous characters. Rather, it is about an example of what you can make with such an appliance as a food processor: Pesto.
Pesto is incredibly simple to make, and with some dedicated fine-tuning, can be used in many different dishes or be perfectly content sitting atop a cracker with some cheese or a small slice of meat as a snack. Today is a mere introduction to pesto; a base. I will definitely be writing future posts containing the use of pesto in various forms, and will thus reference this article for your pesto-infused adventure.
Another great thing about pesto is by switching up the ingredients to related alternatives, you can create quite the different style of flavor. For this particular recipe, I incorporate a mix of basil and arugula as well as almonds. I have used this pesto untouched in entrees or snacks, made into a cream sauce, and combined it with other ingredients to make fillings. It always comes through as a smooth, inviting taste but with just the right pop (thanks to the arugula).
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup arugula, packed
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese (shredded parmesan will also suffice)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Combine basil, arugula, sliced almonds, chopped garlic, shredded cheese, and pepper in a food processor, and pulse enough to get a rough combined/chop. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, then pulse until smooth. You may add more olive oil depending on your desired consistency. Use the finished product at your convenience, keeps safely in fridge for a few days.