Here’s the dish my family asks for no matter what day it is, Sunday or Thursday, meat or no meat: Pesto. It’s made primarily of leaves. I’m always happy to comply–the inebriating basil aroma probably has something to do with this. I can’t think of an easier vegetarian recipe: easy to make, and easy to adore.
How to make Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves: washed and patted dry
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
½ tsp salt
¼ cup evoo
Put the first four ingredients in a food processor. Press the button to chop and blend. Add the evoo in a trickle. Taste. Adjust. Store in an airtight container until ready to toss with freshly cooked pasta. Add grated cheese and ground pepper as you wish. Keeps in the fridge for a week. If you don’t already include pesto as a staple in your diet, you might want to consider it. Have it on pasta, of course, but also have it on crackers, on apple slices, on celery sticks, slathered wraps, drizzled into omelettes, on tomatoes, mixed into soups and sauces – or even by itself, in obscene spoonfuls. The pesto pasta dish can be served with steamed vegetables – sliced zucchini, asparagus, peas, or broccoli are some excellent options. If you’re short on basil, swap in parsley, spinach, cress, or arugula.