Fresh Pesto!

Since I started my herb garden I have been DYING to make fresh pesto sauce!  I knew that it took a lot of basil, so I needed to wait until my basil had grown in.  Luckily for me, it has been VERY rainy, and my basil plant is sky-high.   However, there was a predicament.   The very beautiful (and very expensive) food processor that I put on our registry was not a gift that anyone had purchased for us.  BUT what I do have is a brand new red kitchenaid blender that my new Mother-In-Law bought me for my birthday to match my kitchenaid stand mixer.  I needed to know:  can you make pesto in a blender?  So I decided it was investigation time, and I went to a wise source: Google.com.  There I find a multitude of articles about pesto in a blender, including one that claimed that pesto in a blender came out even creamier than in a food processor.  I will admit, though, that I was skeptical.  I thought it was too good to be true. But I figured, why not?

So I gathered my ingredients:  2 cups fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, grape tomatoes, frozen peas, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and farfalle pasta (you can use any kind you’d like)

Next I had to clean my basil leaves.  Since they had come straight for my own fenced-in garden I was less worried, but I still cleaned and dried them.  (see below)

Then, I took out my shiny red blender and put in the following ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

I then used the “mix” and “chop” settings to attempt to chop up the pine nuts and the basil leaves.

Unfortunately, the “pesto” did not look right after completing these steps.  The leaves looked minced instead of pureed, and the pine nuts were barely chopped.  I attempted to try different settings, but no such luck.
And plan B commenced.  I remembered that I have a magic bullet, which is sort of a mix between a blender and a food processor.   So I took out my magic bullet and I continued the process.  I used the chop blade instead of the mix blade, since I needed something to cut up the rest of the ingredients.

After chopping up the ingredients it still wasn’t as creamy as I had hoped, so I added a tad bit more olive oil, another cup of basil leaves, and then a 1/2 cup of pasta water from the pasta that I was boiling simultaneously (I’ll admit it– things got a little crazy for a sec).  Voila!  Beautiful pesto was created!  However, if I could go back and do it again, I would do 2 cloves of garlic instead of 3, as it was a little garlicky.

While the pasta was boiling, I cut my clean grape tomatoes in half and cooked the frozen peas.

Once my veggies were prepped, I added them to my pasta, and tossed it in about half of the pesto sauce I made.  Half was more than enough, and I wanted to save some for a veggie pizza I’m making tomorrow!  Once I added everything together, it occurred to me that it might taste better chilled.  So we put it in the refrigerator and we had a little appetizer:

Then, about 15 minutes later we had our main course and man was it YUMMY!

If anyone has ever made pesto in a blender and can tell me what I did wrong please explain!  The final product was well worth the stress, but boy was it stressful to stop in the middle and switch to the magic bullet!

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