When in doubt, use pesto. That's my motto for flavor. It goes well on anything...pizza, vegetables, sandwiches, or a little dab behind the ears for good measure. One great benefit besides the flavor is after eating it, you get a basil-y lip moisturizing treatment that lasts well after the meal.
I got home from my first yoga class of 2011 last night, and boy was it just what the doctor ordered. My shoulders have remained crunched up to my ears since the plane ride a week ago. VERY slowly but surely I felt the tension ease from the tight rubber bands residing in my hamstrings. I floated to my car afterwards, barely noticing the rain.
After a class like that, all I wanted to eat was a light and color rich dinner. My fridge is stocked with lots of vegetables for the start of 2011 and remembered a container of pesto in my freezer from a month ago. Pesto, by the way, freezes very nicely. You can even freeze it in an ice cube tray, for when you need just a little bit. Just fill the slots with pesto, and once they are frozen, you can pop them out, put in a bag and keep in the freezer.
The following recipe is what I made with what I had at home. You can of course use the pesto in any way that suits you and yours. I didn't use parmesan in my recipe, but added it in the recipe below in case you want to add it. It is a pretty versatile sauce too...try using walnuts instead of pinenuts, or cilantro instead of basil. Basically mixing any flavorful fresh leafy herb with nuts, oil and garlic is going to brighten your eyes and make your day just that much better. Enjoy!
Basil Pesto Salad
2-3 cups basil, taken off stems (one large salad green size box from grocery)
1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1 red pepper, cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, coined
3/4 cup corn
Take basil leaves off stems and wash and dry thoroughly. Place in food processor or blender. Add garlic, pine nutes, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cheese if you are using it. Blend until you have a uniformly rough paste. While processor/blender is still on, gradually drizzle the olive oil. Continue to add oil until the pesto becomes smooth consistency. Taste and adjust with extra salt, pepper or extra oil or lemon juice. Reblend if necessary. Pour into medium sized bowl and set aside.
Prep veggies. Toss into the pesto bowl. Mix well. Eat immediately or refrigerate a few hours before serving.