Saturday, March 30, 2013


Pesto is such an easy thing to make that I hesitated posting this recipe, but as this is a living cookbook for my sons, Stephen asked me to post it so he would remember the proper proportions of ingredients.  This is the same pesto I used on the Spicy Tuna sandwiches in the previous post. I like to make it ahead of time, cover it in olive oil and then freeze it. Then, you have it on hand whenever you need it and it thaws quite easily. I put it into glass jars and then will set one in a bowl of warm water when I want to use it. The extra olive oil on top keeps it from getting exposed to the air and turning black. I use it on Fusilli pasta and serve it with a fresh Tomato Salad or stir it into vegetable soup (what the French call Pistou) and love it as a base for a pesto mayo along with some chopped sun dried tomato when I make Italian style sandwiches. I also like to serve it with goat cheese and crackers. Martin told me that he doesn't usually like pesto and really likes this version, so I hope you do too.


2 cups fresh Basil Leaves
3 Garlic Cloves chopped
1/3 cup Pine Nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ teaspoon or more Salt

Remove the basil leaves from the stem.  Put all ingredients into a food processor (I use a Cuisinart) or a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust Salt, if desired. Use on pasta with a little additional pasta water or use as a sandwich spread by mixing it into mayonnaise or stir into vegetable soup.

Five Element Analysis

Basil leaves are a combination of the Wood and Metal Element as they are clearly green leaves, but their wonderful pungency makes them metallic as well.  The olive oil adds even more Wood and the Parmesan brings in more metal.  Pine Nuts and the salt contribute a bit of the Water Element.  If you serve pesto with pasta, the wheat adds even more Wood so the sun dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes are a good addition as they bring in some Fire and you can also use some chili flakes. But, the Earth Element is still missing so be sure to serve something Earthy - perhaps something sweet - to go along with the Pesto Pasta to create a Five Element Balance.  

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