St. Patty's Pesto

Happy St. Patrick's Day! As an Italian girl, I never got into wearing green, or sporting decorative shamrocks. So what do I to celebrate this holiday? I like to jump on board in a way that suits me...because I have many Irish friends, and I love them like an Italian girl loves...pesto.

Pesto? Yes, pesto. I choose to eat green, instead of wearing it. So today, I'm bringing you three (yes three - like a shamrock!) pesto recipes: a traditional Basil and Pine Nut, an Arugula and Pistachio (my favorite) and an unlikely Parsley and Walnut (mild and nutty).

And for a healthier version, you can leave out the Parmesan cheese, as you don't really need it. Taste as you go, however, Parmesan is a salty cheese so by leaving it out, you may want to add a bit more salt.

Let's get started:

 

Basil and Pine Nut Pesto

What you Need:

1 large bunch fresh basil
2 cloves garlic (optional, unless you feel like breathing fire for the day)
Extra Virgin olive oil - about a half a cup, but you might want to use more or less
Grated Parmesan cheese - about 3/4 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts

What To Do:
Place the basil, garlic (if using) and half the olive oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to process finely. Check the consistency. You will most likely need to add a bit more oil (throw in the rest). Now, add the cheese (if using), pine nuts, salt and pepper. Give it a few more twirls in the processor and check both the consistency and taste. Is it dry? If so, add more oil. You can also add more salt, pepper or cheese if you feel it's necessary. 

Scoop the entire mixture into a bowl and drizzle a blanket of olive oil over the top. You can either serve immediately on some toasted bread or you can stick it in the fridge and save it for later.

Arugula and Pistachio Pesto

What You Need:

1 package arugula
Extra Virgin olive oil - about a half a cup, but you might want to use more or less
Grated Parmesan cheese - about 3/4 cup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pistachios (shelled and unsalted)

What To Do:
Place the arugula, and half the olive oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to process finely. Check the consistency. You will most likely need to add a bit more oil (throw in the rest). Now, add the cheese (if using), pistachios, salt and pepper. Give it a few more twirls in the processor and check both the consistency and taste. Is it dry? If so, add more oil. You can also add more salt, pepper or cheese if you feel it's necessary. 

Scoop the entire mixture into a bowl and drizzle a blanket of olive oil over the top. You can either serve immediately on some toasted bread or you can stick it in the fridge and save it for later.

Parsley and Walnut Pesto

What You Need:

1 large bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley (as opposed to the curly kind)
Extra Virgin olive oil - about a half a cup, but you might want to use more or less
Grated Parmesan cheese - about 3/4 cup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnuts

What To Do:
Place the parsley, and half the olive oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to process finely. Check the consistency. You will most likely need to add a bit more oil (throw in the rest). Now, add the cheese (if using), walnuts, salt and pepper. Give it a few more twirls in the processor and check both the consistency and taste. Is it dry? If so, add more oil. You can also add more salt, pepper or cheese if you feel it's necessary. 

Scoop the entire mixture into a bowl and drizzle a blanket of olive oil over the top. You can either serve immediately on some toasted bread or you can stick it in the fridge and save it for later.

 

Now, you may be thinking, what do I do with all this pesto? It's a fair question. Here are my suggestions:

1. Top a breakfast pizza with it, like this one.

2. Add to pasta with roasted tomatoes for dinner.

3. Scramble your morning eggs with it, along with some sun dried tomatoes.

 

4. Slather it on some toasted bread (we like to call this "bruschetta").

5. Bathroom tile caulking*

6. Face mask*

7. Wet suit lube*

* Numbers 5, 6, 7 are not really recommended uses, but give them a shot and let me know what happens...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!