The loot from the market, basil and fresh garlicI have been growing basil for a couple of months now. I started from seeds and it was a very cold spring, so they took a while to start growing. I am hoping by the end of the month I will show you larger plants worthy of making pesto.
My baby basil plants
I chose to make Macadamia pesto today, since I have been avoiding pine nuts, because of a few unfortunate incidents with pine mouth and I needed an alternative nut. Macadamias have an excellent texture for pesto and they yield a deep and exotic flavor. I also chose to use all different kinds of pesto to create a more spicy version of it. Red basil is generally hotter than the other types, so I used a 1:3 ratio of red to green.
My baby basil plants
To make the macadamia pesto, you need:
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
3 cups water
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 oz goat feta cheese
Fresh garlic may be hard to get, but it's worth it. It lacks most of the aftertaste and has the full range of aroma.
Place the 3 cups of water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, clean the leaves off the basil stalks and add to the boiling water for 30 seconds. This will preserve the color of your pesto. Remove the leaves and squeeze the liquid out of them. In a blender, mix the leaves, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped macadamias, salt and feta cheese. Blend until smooth and then transfer the pesto in a jar to keep in the fridge. If you feel that you are too tempted by it (it may be great for you, but it still has approximately 100 calories per tbsp) you can freeze portions of it and only use them as you need.
If you are waiting for guests, you can serve the pesto with tortillas, raw veggies, over whole grain or quinoa pasta, you can even make it into a salad dressing diluting it with some vinegar and olive oil, or water and olive oil. Liquid cream would also work very well to make salad dressing. If you are feeling lazy, you can always just use it on top of bruschetti that everyone will love.
I made two jars of it and since I know it's far too tempting to keep it at home, I am taking a jar to a friend. Pesto makes an appreciated gift!