Go Green With Fresh Herbs

Hi, Izzy here. As a two year old, my palette is still developing. My taste buds seem to change every few months. One thing that has remained the same for the past several months, is my love of the homemade sauces that my mom and I make together. We make homemade tomato sauce, hummus, pesto, bechamel, and more. My favorite sauce to this day, is fresh pesto. I love the vibrant green sauce with its bold flavors. We like to plant fresh herbs and use them in our sauces. We usually make our pesto using fresh, organic basil as the star ingredient. We'll usually add a small bunch of additional herbs, just to balance out and spice up the flavors a bit. In our last batch we used sweet basil, arugula, dill, and water cress with pine nuts, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and fresh Parmesan cheese. Because the cheese is very salty, we like to taste the sauce, before adding any salt. I take a small spoonful, taste it and then tell my mom, "more salt please" or "no more salt please". If I am going to add any salt, I add a small pinch at a time. You can always add more salt, but you can never take it back out. My mom lets me carefully add the ingredients
to the top edge of the food processor. I'm very careful to avoid getting my hands even remotely close to the blade at the bottom.We pulse all the ingredients together (except for the oil) and then I slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor, through the opening at the top. Once everything looks like it's incorporated, my mom takes the blade out so it's safe for me. She lets me scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula. I stir in any remaining bits into the mixture, so everything gets combined. We transfer the pesto into a bowl. Sometimes we just dip vegetables or crackers into the pesto (a tray of raw vegetable is called a crudite; we dip the vegetables in pesto and a vinaigrette that I help my mom whisk up too). Other times we spread the pesto onto bread and dress up an ordinary sandwich with it. My favorite thing to do with pesto, is to mix it into my pasta. Being true to my Italian roots, I absolutely LOVE pasta; all kinds of pasta. I recommend a good angel hair pasta for the pesto. The shallow surface area of the angel hair allows for more pesto per bite. It's delicious! If you have left over pesto, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Note, if the left over pesto starts to turn brown, then the air has gotten to it and it's gone bad. I'd recommend tossing it. We usually don't end up with left over pesto for very long because when we make fresh pesto, we put it on everything within a few days. You can put a little spoonful in an omelette to add some flavor. You can add a teaspoon of pesto to a bowl of homemade soup.
The possibilities are endless. My number one recommendation is to simply try making some homemade sauces of your own. Sure, the store down the street sells pesto and sauces, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can Go Green with Fresh Herbs in your very own kitchen. Your taste buds will thank you! Your comments are welcome. Salute, Izzy


1 comment:

  1. Izzy, I love your enthusiasm! You're learning so much & I'm sincerely learning from YOU! Thanks for all the wonderful tips!!!