Put those wilted greens to good use in your next pesto sauce
Pesto, as many know, is a paste formed by crushing Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and, of course, basil. Pesto is refreshing, has a lighter texture than tomato sauces, and its fresh ingredients liven up countless dishes. Basil pesto is what most people imagine when they think of pesto; In Italian, this is called all-Genovese pesto, named after the place it comes from – Genoa. However, many pestos alongside basil are made in Italy, such as mint and arugula, and they can serve as inspiration for you to use the different qualities of different greens and explore new pesto combinations. A great place to start, for example, is with those wilting vegetables in your refrigerator.
Meal planning isn’t always easy, and neither is grocery shopping, so we’re sure to have wilting veggies in the fridge from time to time. When you’re trying to come up with ways to use up those greens before they go from wilted to moldy, think of pesto as a way to liven them up again. Whether you have spinach, kale, or even herbs like dill or chives, you can puree them into a lovely pesto with Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and nuts of any kind.
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Green pesto packs a punch for flavor
There is a lot of room for creativity in how you use and prepare pesto. Experimenting with different types of nuts, such as cashews or walnuts, and combining herbs from multiple varieties can keep the pesto new and exciting. No matter what wilted green you have, combinations can’t go wrong. One additional step to a more vibrant pesto is to blanch the vegetables, which will prevent the vegetables from oxidizing and will extend the life of the pesto. The product will be a fresh and herbal condiment that you can store in a container in the refrigerator and add to the dishes you have on hand.
The most obvious way to use pesto is pasta. Roasting more vegetables or even grilling meat and adding them to pesto pasta will add texture and variety to the dish. Moreover, pesto is an excellent sauce for meat of all types. The contrast between a tender chicken breast, for example, and a vegetarian pesto would make a great pairing and a meal that’s even better served in a sandwich with some tomatoes and cheese. For a light but delicious breakfast, you can fry a few eggs in a custom pesto sauce and add them to slices of crispy sourdough. Your box of wilted greens will thank you, and so will your taste buds.
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