Monday, January 14, 2013

em + the kitchen - basil pesto & a panini

I used to buy my basil pesto from the store, but after I realized how easy it is to make at home, I'll never go back. It's way cheaper and an easy enough recipe to remember that I just make it by heart at this point.

Basil Pesto
1 package fresh, organic basil
1/2 cup shredded parm cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
a pinch of salt (optional)

Rinse off basil leaves and pat dry, ensuring there is no water left. Meanwhile, lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet on med-low heat, just until they have some color on them.

Add all ingredients to your blender/food processor and pulse, occasionally scraping down the sides.

The mixture should be like a paste, but easily spreadable. If too thick, add some olive oil. Add salt to taste (I usually don't).

Enjoy (preferably on the following sandwich)!

I use that recipe frequently because I once took a trip to Amsterdam and fell in a love with a sandwich that featured this pesto. I had it preeeetty much every day while I was there and immediately sought to replicate it when I was back in the States. It's super simple, but you wouldn't believe how yummy it is. I always have the ingredients on hand in case a craving hits.
I had an incredible time and can't wait to go back to the Netherlands someday, but until then, I'll have to settle for the sandwich.

The Amsterdam (seriously, that's what I call it. I'm super clever.)

tomato slices
baby spinach leaves
basil pesto
fresh bread

I don't think I need to tell you how to assemble a sandwich.
Add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like, then melt on your panini press or (if you're me) George Foreman grill.
Om nom nom.

Fun fact: if I ever own a business, it would be a food truck that made sandwiches.
The star dish? This one.


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