Tag Archives: basil

Two pestos

Do you remember how I was growing tomatoes on my patio last year? Probably not. No problem, just know that there were tomatoes, and that they were wonderful, but a little crowded in their pots. This year, M. and I decided that we wanted to do tomatoes again, but that a pot upgrade would be needed. Which left me with four formerly tomato-ed pots to put to good use. I decided it was high time to start an herb garden:

Just a small one. Some arugula (not an herb, I know), and two kinds of basil. One a standard sweet basil, the other a fragrant and purple tinged Thai variety. Both plants have been going crazy since I transplanted them into the pots (which I filled with my first batch of finished compost!). I’ve been plucking off a few leaves here and there for salads, omelets, or garnishes, but recently I realized that my plants were in need of a serious harvest. So I got picking:

Then I got down to the business of making pesto. Since I had two kinds of basil, two kinds of pesto! The first is a classic Italian style, made with sweet basil and walnuts (in lieu of pine nuts, which have gotten way too pricey in recent years. Sorry, pine nuts). The second is a bit of a sacrilege: I took the concept of pesto, but gave it an Asian twist, using Thai basil, peanuts, sesame oil, and a touch of tamari.

Right now my favorite way of using pesto is to dollop a spoonful onto one of the vegetable+legume+grain bowls I’ve been eating for dinner most nights. I’ve also been using the classic pesto as a dressing for sauteed green beans and tomatoes, and either recipe is an easy way to upgrade most grilled or sauteed vegetables to a stellar side dish. And if you need more ideas, I’ll be sharing a few recipes that make use of these pestos later this week.

Two pestos
Each recipe makes between 1/2 and 3/4 c.

Classic Pesto
1 oz sweet basil leaves (about 1.5 oz with stems)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. walnut pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Thai peanut pesto
1 oz thai basil leaves (about 1.5 oz with stems)
1/4 c. sesame oil
1/4 c. roasted salted peanuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce


Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal S-blade. Process for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides, and process for another 10 seconds or so. If a thinner pesto is desired, add more oil, 1-2 tbsp at a time.

Pesto can be frozen, or will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice


Here’s the final (for now) recipe inspired by my recent foray through The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. Cauliflower has been abundant in our area lately, and it turns out M’s love of fauxliflower dishes (as I like to call them, although I think technically that term may be backwards…) is even more sincere than I had previously thought. As a result, we’ve been putting cauliflower onto the menu more often, and working on different ways of preparing it. While that cauliflower fried rice recipe I posted a few weeks back is ridiculously good, variety is no bad thing either.
Continue reading Lemon Herb Cauliflower Rice

Recipe: Quinoa stuffed mushrooms (gluten free, vegan)


I love stuffed mushrooms. Actually, I love mushrooms in general, but the stuffing and baking method of preparation is one I particularly enjoy eating. They just feel especially decadent to me, with the mushroom flavor melding into the filling as the mushrooms bake. Recently, I decided to give my favorite stuffed mushroom recipe a bit of a makeover, using quinoa as the base of the stuffing, in lieu of the more common breadcrumbs. Continue reading Recipe: Quinoa stuffed mushrooms (gluten free, vegan)

Recipe: Almond Biscuits with sun-dried tomato and basil (Gluten free, paleo)

We’ve been experimenting with gluten free eating lately, and I was craving a savory treat. I created these little drop biscuits to serve with a late brunch, to make sure the meal carried us through to dinner.
Continue reading Recipe: Almond Biscuits with sun-dried tomato and basil (Gluten free, paleo)