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?!”
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.