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Presto, it's Pesto!

Presto, it's Pesto!

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On July 8, 2009 I boldly stated in an email to some friends, "Learning how to make pesto sauce is on my bucket list." Since then, I actually took it off my bucket list, but it remained on my list of things to do some day. 909 days later, that some day came.

Earlier in the week, I received my Blendtec Recipe of the Week: Peppery Pesto. The ingredients seemed pretty simple, it seemed healthy, and my trusted blender was going to be my partner in crime: my pesto aspirations were coming to life.

After work, I made some pit stops at the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients (or so I thought) and headed home: anxious, excited and hungry. I was ready. I purposely was going to substitute kale for arugula but also ended up substituting unsalted cashews for the pine nuts--and sometimes I'm really good about following the measurements in the recipe: yesterday wasn't one of those days.

Peppery Pesto

It was pretty good but think I could have used less cheese and more kale and basil. I tossed some vegetable radiatore pasta from Trader Joe's in a few spoons of the pesto and ate it up for dinner. I have a good amount of pesto leftover so I'm going  to use it as a base sauce for some pizza later this week and I might freeze some of it into ice cubes like the recipe suggests. A friend told me to pop a pesto ice cube into marinara sauce for some magically delicious marinara: duly noted. Here's my modified recipe below:

Whatchya need:

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic somewhat chopped

3 fists of kale

3 fists of fresh basil

1/4 cup of unsalted cashews

½ cup shaved parmesan cheese

30 cranks from my sea salt grinder

45 cranks from my black pepper grinder

Crushed red pepper flakes (until I thought it looked pretty--real scientific, I know.)

Bad ass blender (I used my BlendTec. I imagine other blenders would also work.)

Whatchya do:

Put the oil, kale and basil into the blender jar (oil first). Push the leaves down so they are as close to the bottom and in the oil as possible. Secure lid and press "Pulse" a few times (11 for me) until the leaves are somewhat chopped.

Add the remaining ingredients and secure the lid. I pressed "Pulse" a few times (5) but ended up putting it on "Dips" so I wouldn't have to keep stopping it. Basically you want to get it to a purée/saucy texture. It's annoying but you may need to stop and scrape the sides down into the middle or mix the middle up so that everything gets blended well.

There you have it, my first culinary adventure of 2011! (Edit: it's 2012! I'm not used to saying that yet. Whoops! Thanks for calling that out Sonam!) One thing's for sure, it'll be less than 909 days before I try this one again.

Fix It Friday

Fix It Friday

And so it begins...