Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pesto Change-O!

This is my overgrown herb box. We bought it from the farmer's market about a month ago and it as pretty much tripled in size! I'd been wanting to get some more plants for the house and this once is great because it serves two purposes! It looks good and it tastes good!

The basil leaves were starting to look like elephant ears so we plucked several of them and I made some pesto. I toasted the pine nuts ahead of time and then combined them with the leaves and drizzled some garlic infused olive oil to bind it. I mashed it all up with a mortar and pestle and seasoned with salt + pepper. The only thing I would have added is lemon juice but I didn't have any at the time. It would have brightened it up a bit!

I had some prepackaged gnocchi from Trader Joe's in my cabinet and decided it would be a nice vehicle for some homemade pesto. Chris is somewhat of a gnocchi expert and he had his doubts but he didn't stop me. It's not a common dish in the south and I only really got into it when I moved up here but I love it! It's difficult not to love cute little dumplings made of potatoes!

The pesto was sort of lacking since my original lemony pick up idea was dashed so I went back to the drawing board and decided to mix it with some browned butter. I consider this to be my Ace in the Hole. It is my theory that there is nothing that brown butter can't cure. It takes a lot of attention but doesn't require too much effort. Once it was ready, I immediately dropped the pesto in and it created a delectable sizzling sound! I believe Emeril would say BAM! in a situation like this.

After that, I tossed it into the gnocchi and served it for dinner. Chris no longer doubts me. We've had a pestoesque dinner two nights in a row now. Last night was heirloom white beans with an arugula and walnut pesto. I think it's time for a change tonight!

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