Tag Archives: basil pesto

Second time around: Basil pesto

After Basil pesto take 1, I can see why anyone would be skeptical that Basil pesto take 2 would ever occur. I myself wasn’t expecting it to happen any time soon. But when you have a soup recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of basil and the supermarket will only sell you a gigantic bundle of basil, you gotta do what you gotta do.
One rainy Sunday afternoon, when I could no longer bear the thought of the herbs slowly biodegrading in my vegetable drawer, I decided it was time to get back on the horse. And you know what? I did it! Without cutting off a finger, or even breaking skin at all!

Basil pesto: Take 2
2 cups basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup grated hard cheese (I used Parmesan)
3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
pinch of salt
pinch dried lavender (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp raw pinenuts

Process basil, coriander, cheese, garlic, salt, olive oil and lavender in a food processor till they become a paste
Add pinenuts and process until mixed in, add more olive oil if it looks too dry
The addition of coriander and lavender was an invention of necessity as I had dodgy-looking coriander to use and the only salt I could find was lavender infused. These are optional, but delicious.

This took me 5 minutes. It is great. It saved me spending $5 on crappy supermarket pesto. But most importantly, this was a dish made without any blood, sweat or tears.


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Quick food for busy mums: Eggplant, asparagus and basil pesto pasta

Just kidding mum and dad! I might not have posted a blog in a while but I have not spent my time off making babies and pasta. And here I am, back again with another recipe for time deprived cheapskates.

After an afternoon of drinking on the roof with hardy NZ friends – ‘Sun? Time to get out the tshirts and beer!’ – hunger didn’t so much creep up as it did sneak attack from within a sparsely stocked fridge. From the necessity for a quick and easy meal using minimum ingredients, the below recipe was born.

Eggplant, asparagus and basil pesto pasta

1 eggplant, chopped roughly
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped roughly
1 tbsp coconut oil, to cook
500g pasta (or enough for 2 people)
2 cups basil, roughly chopped
1 cup finely grated parmesan
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Fry eggplant and asparagus on medium heat in coconut oil for 10-15 minutes or until eggplant is soft
Boil water in a large saucepan, add pasta, olive oil and salt to taste. Cook for 8 minutes or so until al dente then drain
Combine basil, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor
Combine veges, pasta and pesto and serve, topped with more parmesan

The Internet will tell you that to cook eggplant you need to salt it, dry it, peel it and do various other things to it. I’m sure this makes it taste fantastic, however don’t be afraid to just cook it up as above. As long as you don’t give it too much oil to absorb it will still taste just fine.

No photo today sorry! You’ll have to get your blurry, out of focus kicks somewhere else.

I think the most important thing to take from this post is that I can I successfully made basil pesto without removing any fingers or even being physically harmed at all. I don’t know about you but I count that as a win.

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The perils of making basil pesto

On a day that started like this…


…and went a lot better than any day has for a long time prior, I got home from work early (!) and decided chicken, asparagus and basil pesto pasta was in order. But oh no! No pesto in sight, so I biked off to the shops to get some. Three shops and no pesto later I decided it was about time I make my own pesto anyway (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while). So I paid a visit to my super friendly local greengrocer, who has terrible stock but the best temperament in the world. He even offered to let me away with the basil cheap when he saw me scrabbling for change in my wallet, and often claps me on the back while talking to me in a language I have never heard before. Anyway more on him in future posts (no doubt).

Now comes the part bound to make you wonder how I can type this let alone tie my own shoelaces. Those with weak stomachs stop reading now.

Next I went home, prepared the ingredients and minced them up with a stick food processor. Pesto complete, I started to clear out the base of the processor before cleaning it. And then it turned on. I was instantly covered head-to-toe in pesto and blood, and the kitchen got a fairly liberal coating too. I will not bore you with the gory details, just give you the highlights which included:

*scoffing down a massive bowl of leftover shepherds pie in 2 minutes after my neighbour told me the ambulance was on its way and I shouldn’t eat before they arrived and pumped me full of anaesthetic (brain: “but I’M HUNGRY!”)

*paramedics telling me I could wait till the morning to have my hand stitched up rather than wait in the emergency room all night

*washing out the food processor and continuing to make and then eat chicken, asparagus and basil pesto pasta

*still catching the end of My Kitchen Rules, where my two most hated characters got kicked out

So a doctor’s trip, a fingerful of severed nerves, 16 butterfly stitches and a tetanus shot later we come to the (fairly obvious) moral of the story: don’t stick your finger inside a machine that contains a running blade.

Once again, sorry about the terrible quality of the pictures and grammar (I blame blood loss). And for a great, flesh free pesto recipe, go here: http://ginandjuniper.wordpress.com/

And if in doubt you know what to reach for –


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