Basil Pesto Sauce

Pesto is probably the most popular organic dip besides mustard and the good old ketchup. Though we have immensely popular Indian chutney’s of various types of amazing flavors and benefits. Hope you recall the Cherry Tomato Ketchup recipe and the Carom Leaves Chutney that I shared sometime back. While, to many of us pesto would not raise eyebrows or turn heads, believe me, I have known people who have not known what to do with big basil shrubs and have pruned and thrown away a healthy lot of it. Interestingly it is these set of folks who enjoy pesto in my treats loudly and ask me for its recipe. So for those folks and for all to enjoy, here’s how I do this simple yet wholesome sauce !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : This much would last at least 10 fritter treats 🙂
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 tablespoon works well with 1 bowl of fritters

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basil leaves, 2 cups, fresh would be great : In this I used sweet or Genovese basil leaves which I pluck-wash at my garden. Basil is the “King of Herbs” for many reasons. It is a strong anti oxidant. It fights virus, bacteria and other microbes in the body. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.
  • Garlic, 3 – 4 cloves : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Walnuts, 1/3rd cup : Walnuts have a good amount of good fats called polyunsaturated fats or PUFA. They have Omega 3 and decent amount of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and Vitamins like E & B loaded in them. In taste they add a distinct earthiness and nutty essence.
  • Cheese cube, 1, 200 grams : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Olive oil, 1/2 cup : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.
  • Salt, 1 tablespoon : I prefer coarse Himalayan pink salt here since it is extremely healthy. 

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash well and break the basil. Breaking works better than chopping the basil. Chopping is said to be detrimental to the flavor.
  • Wash and dry the walnuts since they are quite dusty when fresh.
  • Grate the cheese and mix with olive oil loosely.
  • Now add all ingredients in a kitchen grinder and make a paste of it. I would prefer not to add water to loosen it to your requirement, instead ad 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Storage : 1 month refrigeration is a “can do”. You’ll also love doing things with the sauce besides using it as a dip. Remember, when I made the Tricolor Tiffin last month. They rocked 🙂

Missing Something ? : Many iterations are possible in this. You can change the salt to Kosher or even regular table salt. The oil should preferably be virgin olive oil. The cheese can be romano, Reggiano or even simple cheese cubes which can be grated and later pasted. It’s best to use sweet broad basil only. The walnuts can be replaced with pine nuts. Didn’t I mention that there are several iterations 🙂  !!

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