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Pesto Perfecto!

Pesto Perfecto!

At 16, I got my first job at a charming little cafe called Tilly's. 

While working at Tilly's, I learned how to craft a decent latte, how to make gelato from scratch, and how to create the perfect panini - and hint! hint! a perfect panini requires a magical ingredient called PESTO!

As my culinary skills developed beyond paninis, my love for pesto deepened. Pesto makes everything better. Poultry, fish, pasta, potatoes, toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, avocados, and so on -- just add a dollop of pesto and your dish becomes something memorable!

The problem with store-bought pesto is that it contains a lot of preservatives to prolong its shelf life. Additionally, it contains dairy as a second ingredient - and if you're like me and try to limit your dairy intake, this can pose a problem.

Enter my pesto perfecto! This stuff is made with three types of greens: arugula, spinach, and basil. It's seasoned with garlic and a dash of lemon. And oh my goodness is it divine! Do yourself a favor and whip some up ASAP. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. *Pro-tip: if you pour your pesto into a mason jar and tie a ribbon around it, it makes for a lovely housewarming gift!

What You'll Need:

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup light-tasting (high quality) Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • The juice of 1/2 cup lemon

The Method:

  1. Toast pine nuts. To do this, place a small saucepan over "low" heat and add the pine nuts. Turn frequently until browned; this should take 3-4 minutes. When pine nuts are thoroughly toasted, pour them directly into a food processor or blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender or food processor, including the juice from 1/2 lemon. Pulse until thoroughly mixed. And viola! Your pesto perfecto is complete!

 

Pesto-Inspired Ideas:

Toast your favorite piece of bread, add a dollop of my Pesto Perfecto, and top with an avocado, toasted pine nuts, some shaved parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Boil your favorite pasta. Drizzle with EVOO. Add a dollop of pesto and top with pine nuts and parmesan cheese!

 

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