Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pesto Toasts

There was basil for sale at last week's farmers market. A sure sign of summer, right? The rain and cold around here lately says otherwise, but I'm happy to take my summer in doses of fragrant, green, leafy herbs if that's all I can get for now.

I didn't use up the bunch of basil that I bought right away, and a few days later noticed a few brown edges amongst the bundle of green in my fridge. There was a moment of slight panic, like when I think I've lost my wallet (thumping heart, wave of heat), at the thought of all that flavor potentially wasted, but then I remembered. Pesto.

Whoever (whomever? I'm never sure) happened upon this magnificent blend of herbs and oil and garlic and cheese should be given a day. Pesto Appreciation Day, or P.A.D. Anyway, you get my drift.  I'm all about versatility in foods, and this one is definitely a winner on that front. Pizza, pasta, meats, fish, eggs, roasted veggies, sandwiches... pesto makes it all taste good. Really good.

The night I made my pesto, I decided to spread it onto toast as a simple addition to the veggie stew I was serving for dinner. Did I mention that pesto is good? Well, it didn't fail to please when smeared on toasty bread with some Parmesan sprinkles on top.

Here's the run down.

Pesto Toasts
serves 2+

2 C. basil, firmly packed
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
2/3 C. olive oil
1 large clove garlic (or more if ya like)
2 or more slices bread, toasted & cut into triangles

For the pesto:
Add basil, Parmesan, olive oil and garlic to a food processor or blender and flip that baby on.  Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides several times as necessary.

Let the pesto rest for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to meld and work their magic.

To assemble the toasts:
Spread a couple of tablespoons of pesto on each toast triangle, sprinkle with some Parmesan and serve.
Easy peasy.

Store any leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge. Another option is to freeze it. If you actually have any leftover, that is.

*** Most recipes call for pine nuts in pesto. If you want to add them to this recipe, please feel free to give it a shot. I might have if I'd had some around, but I found this recipe to be slammin' without.

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