Pesto Paradise

There are 3 magical ingredients that can be paired with any food to transform it from delicious to borderline crack cocaine: (1) chocolate;
(2) bacon; and (3) pesto. Chocolate, duh. Bacon, obviously. Pesto, hm? Let me elaborate on this love affair. I've always enjoyed a good healthy helping of pesto, but recently discovered how easy it is to make from scratch (now if only I could make my own chocolate and bacon, I'd never leave my house).

My adventure begins on the way to my local greenery. I must of been undergoing mental photosynthesis because I asked the owner where his pesto plants were. Go ahead, laugh. And those of you who are wondering what's so funny--pesto is made from basil leaves. Thankfully I was in a non-judge greenery zone, and the owner helped me pick out the perfect pack of basil plants. It was love at first smell. My basil plants are currently thriving with all this monsoon rain, and I never get tired of the "Italian restaurant" aroma. Amore.

I got hooked on home-made pesto because it's really easy to make, and if I can master it then anyone can. I found a pesto recipe that only requires a few simple ingredients: 2 cups basil leaves, 1/2 cups of olive oil, minced garlic cloves (No cloves? I used garlic seasoning before and it tasted equally delicious), salt and pepper (to taste), and I use 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese (Romano works, too). Also, you can add 1/3 cups pine nuts or walnuts! Throw all of these in a blender or processor and mix it, baby. This makes about 1 cup of fresh pesto sauce. Put it on your whole-wheat pasta, egg-white omelettes, or just eat it plain. Go crazy.

If you want to keep your pesto throughout the year (and why wouldn't you?), I found a clever freezing tip online! Line an ice cub tray with some plastic wrap, then pour the pesto sauce (omit the Parmesan or Romano cheese because it'll get yucky when thawed) in each ice cube compartment. Freeze, then remove plastic wrap along with frozen pesto and store in a freezer bag. To eat, simply defrost and add in cheese! Nom, nom, nom.



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