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Monday, May 2, 2016

Feel Better FAST with Pesto Presto!


25 Nisan, 5776

I spent Passover/Pesakh with loved ones and lots of food. By the end of the holiday I was tired of chewing!

Here's a recipe that pleased my palate, kept the calorie count low but packed lots of nutritional power. I made it in a food processor, which I regard as a gift from heaven to people with limited hand strength or dexterity. 

If you're enduring a bland menu due to hands that don't work so well, I strongly suggest that you buy a quality chef's knife plus a food processor. They can help you to prepare many types of foods rather easily.

I quickly prepared this yummy pesto 
with fennel greens!


5 to 6 ounces greens (2 healthy bunches or about 6 cups gently packed basil leaves, or any other green. 3 bunches of very fluffy fennel greens are wonderful for pesto to feed a small crowd!)
1/2 cup pine nuts, or any other nut (3 pre-soaked, soft Brazil nuts are fine for smaller recipes)
1 to 2 garlic cloves (3 for larger recipes)
1/4 teaspoon salt (use Guerande, Himalayan or Mexican salt for more flavor and nutrition)
1/4 to 1/2 cup sesame, grape seed or extra-virgin olive oil 


Blender or food processor


  1. Blend half the greens with the nuts and garlic: Combine the other half of the greens with the nuts, garlic cloves, and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend continuously until the ingredients are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend everything until a uniform paste has formed (if you prefer a rough texture, that's fine). 
  2. Add the oil: With the blender running, you can slowly add the oil (I work with all the ingredients added at once, though). Less oil will make a paste good for spreading on sandwiches, rice cakes and crackers; more will make a sauce better for pastas and stirring into soup. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue blending as needed until the oil is totally absorbed into the greens and the pesto looks uniform.
  3. Taste and adjust: Taste the pesto and add more salt, garlic, or nuts, as needed al dente/to taste.
  4. Storing pesto: Pesto darkens and browns quickly, but it can remain delicious and fresh for several days IF you keep it in a sealed glass jar sized to suit the amount made. For best appearances, use it right away. If you store your freshly made pesto, use the smallest container possible, thoroughly pressing the pesto to eliminate air pockets. Pour a little oil over the surface (that's how it looks when you open the store-bought version!), cover the jar, and refrigerate your creation for no more than a week. 

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Fill your plate with easily prepared, nutritious food.

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