Monday, July 20, 2009

Sicilian Pesto

Several months ago I contemplated the thought of starting a gardening section on this blog. Not only because I love gardening, but also because I feel it is beneficial for kids to be part of the process (see Practical Help for Your Picky Eater, Part VI). I posted one article on Container Gardening, I created an icon for "Gardening Together", and then continued to sit on the whole concept. I want to launch it. It's just that it requires something I currently have little of right now...time.

As you know, along with a garden comes weeding, watering, transplanting, harvesting, and finding organic ways to fight off bugs, slugs, and pests. I love every aspect about it as well as learning all I can about the process from start to finish. I would love to garden together, I just need to figure out how to carve out some more time. Have no fear; we will garden together, I promise. I'm just not sure when.

The garden section has not taken off, or should I say, has not been launched, but my garden has! I am enjoying the fruit of my labor, as I told you about already with lettuce, but also with fresh herbs, and especially with basil. This year I planted 8 basil plants of a couple different varieties and all of the plants are growing just as they should.

I have some issues with my basil though. My basil doesn't have issues--I have issues. You see, while I am happy to share, share, share when it comes to lettuce, green beans, zucchini, and many other vegetables, I am ultra protective of my basil. (Notice the word my. Not the basil, my basil.) I want it all to myself. I just can't think of handing over my precious green and purple leaves of basil to others. It is a premium crop to me. Just look at it...doesn't it look beautiful?

My selfishness comes directly from dishes like this Sicilian Pesto. It's not that I don't want others to enjoy the bounty from my vegetable garden, it's just that I want to make things like Sicilian Pesto and Basil Parmesan Biscuits. You are welcome to come over and share some of these things with me; I have no problem with that. I just want the ability to transform my basil into something amazing before I share it.

I told you. I have issues.


1/4 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
4 cups loosely packed basil leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups chopped seeded tomato, diced (about 2 large)


1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Remove promptly from pan.

2. Combine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Process until minced. Add basil, oil, salt, and peppers; process until blended, scraping side occasionally. Add cheese; process until smooth.

3. Spoon into bowl; fold in tomato.

And just for all of you know I have never touched a tomato and can't possibly believe I actually added it to the pesto, I have proof. I even seeded them myself. I know you are too proud of me for words.

Then grab of loaf of this and start eating by the spoonfuls. I also recommend tossing it with pasta, shrimp, or poultry if you have any left:-)

Recipe from; Originally from Cooking Light. No modifications.

Yields: 20 servings. Each 2 tablespoon serving contains: Calories 51; Fat 4.6g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Calcium 41mg; Carbohydrate 1.5g; Sodium 82mg; protein 1.4g; Fiber 0.6g; Iron 0.4g


hands full said...

Regarding your tomato proof... I only see proof that pictures were taken- not of your hands actually touching the tomatos :) love ya!

Mamahollioni said...

You are not really razing me about "tomato proof" are you?? I seriously thought THREE pictures of them would be enough, but if you need more proof, I actually ate the tomatoes in the Silician Pesto and LIKED it. I will gladly get a picture of that for you:-)

Anonymous said...

Well... you could just bring some over to share and then I could actually witness you eatting the tomatoes - that would be good! I a free all week long :) Laura

hands full said...

OK- got the proof I needed yesterday - I saw Mamahollioni actually EAT tomato - yea!!!!