Greetings, Mystic Meows!
Happy First Day of Fall! It’s still hot as balls here in Southern California, but I long for the few precious months of cooler weather that we get in these parts. It’s pretty much perpetual summer most of the year, and I miss those brisk and chilly East coast days and nights of fall and the beautiful fiery colors of the turning leaves. However, certain things growing in the garden will eventually cease and I’m hanging on to the summertime vibes by tending to my little urban garden and thankful for what I was able to harvest and grow throughout these warm and balmy months.
My basil and parsley plants are still going strong and are sprouting leaves like crazy! So I decided to make a delicious homemade pesto since I honestly haven’t had it in quite some time. Pesto is super easy to make, keeps well in the fridge and even better in the freezer for a rainy day. It can be added into soups, beans, spread on top of some delicious bread or toast, used as a marinade for meats, fish and seafood, rice and risotto, and of course… pasta! So here’s the basics with making a pesto…
A basic pesto is pretty much 5 ingredients : Basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan Cheese, and a reeeaaaallly good olive oil. That’s it. And a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Now, pine nuts are a bit pricy and understandably not every meow has them in their pantry. You can substitute walnuts, almonds, cashews, or peanuts as I did with mine since mama didn’t have any pine nuts in the cupboard! And to be fair, you don’t have to add nuts at all. After all, recipes are simply a guideline and unless you’re baking, it really is up to you what you add or subtract from it. The nuts add a welcome texture, and a slight crunch that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients. The parsley I used gave it a rather pleasant herbaceous flavor that I really enjoyed.
My second suggestion though would be to use a really good quality olive oil that will only help your pesto keep it’s flavor, color, and will aid in storing it ( if you don’t finish it all in one sitting… 😛) I had about 1/2 a cup of each herb, just to make a small batch, which ended up yielding 2 cups once finished. I used about 1/8th a cup of peanuts, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and a little over a cup of extra virgin olive oil and blended together until fairly smooth, but still a liiiiiittle but chunky. Just a bit.
Once the pesto was made, I boiled my spaghetti and while that was cooking I sautéed up some thinly sliced zucchini in some olive oil and butter, along with some sliced yellow onions, a few dashes of chili flakes, salt and pepper, and let that cook until the zucchini was nice and slightly caramelized. I deglazed the pan with a few spoons of the tears from the gods… That’s pasta water to you meows, and allowed that to pick up all of the fond (the caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan) and reduce down before adding in the cooked spaghetti and tossed the pasta with the zucchini so they could get acquainted 😉 I turned off the heat and let the pasta rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before I added the pesto. This is just so that the pesto remained as bright and as fresh as possible without the heat from the pan wilting and cooking the herbs and turning it to a dark green color. Then I got all fancy shmancy and plated it up, took some food pics before devouring it all, and here we are!
And that’s the story, morning glory! Making pesto is a great way to capture the summer feels and remind us of the warmth of the sun during those cold and chilly fall days and nights. I hope you meows make some for yourself and let me know what you used it with! Until we eat again… Bone app the teeth! 🤪
Cheers, hugs, and meows!
xo Nikki 😻🖤✨🔮
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