Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recipe- Basil "Pesto"

Since I do not "really" have access to any traditional pesto ingredients (I say "really" because today I actually saw that kind of "Parmesan cheese" that is in the plastic container and mixed with granulated sawdust and have also seen some olive oil that most probably is rancid by the looks of the dust on the bottle- not to mention the lack of origin label.  Nuts of any kind, besides peanuts, I have yet to see) other than basil (very sweet and succulent from the vast amount of rain), garlic, and salt I had to kind of improvise.  The best substitute for fat I've found is pumpkin.  It has a earthy, complex, sweet flavor and gets nice and creamy when whipped or blended.  This would also be good to make right before the first frost- when the pumpkins are in and you have to use up all that basil (and you don't feel so rich enough to buy Parmesan and olive oil)

Sweet Basil "Pesto" 

  • A chunk of pumpkin- maybe enough for a cup- about the size of a smallish woman's fist (in this case me)
  • One onion- chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • One rather large bunch of sweet basil (maybe about a cup if you smashed it down in there)
  • Two cloves garlic- crushed (use just one if you don't like it raw a whole lot)

I chopped up the pumpkin and cooked it with the onion in a little water til the pumpkin was falling apart.  But that's because I was in a hurry.  I like to roast it whenever I can- just throw it in the oven on a pan with a little water.

Blend the pumpkin and onion (if you roast the pumpkin just saute the onion til soft) with enough water to make a thinish paste.  It would be a good idea to cool it off before you do this but I only did a wee bit (I was in a hurry).  Add the basil leaves and garlic.  Check with your Super Sense of Taste to see if it needs "something"- salt is a good place to start but anything else would be just fine.

Blend until smooth and creamy and throw over pasta and a few chopped tomatoes on top.

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