Pesto: homemade or shop bought?
I love pesto, it is such an easy thing to give extra flavour to a dish. When I just started to make my own pesto I was surprised about the lovely colour it had compared to the shop bought pesto. I thought it would be easy to convince my kids that the homemade one was better: it was so obvious, the colour was just so much nicer. It was a lovely bright green as opposed to a khaki brownish green. But oh no, they still preferred the shop bought one! We even did a blind test where the homemade one came out as favourite and they still preferred the shop bought one afterwards when they could decide for themselves.
I just decided to keep some shop bought one in the cupboard for ’emergencies’ but always make my when I could, regardless the kids’ preference. I wouldn’t really give them the choice, they’d just have to get used to it! And they did! They have accepted it now, although they are still more keen on the shop bought one. Can you believe it?!
Spinach and walnuts
The pesto I usually make is the one with spinach and walnuts. Both walnuts and spinach rank very high in lists of healthy food. The walnuts contain lots of omega 3 which should be good for my eczema and the spinach is said to contain lots of vitamine K, of fibre and iron and a bunch of other goodies.
With that pesto alone, you can make a lovely easy dish. Cook some pasta, add a good spoonful of pesto and some cherry tomatoes: easy peasy and most likely to be a hit with the kids. This broccoli pasta pesto dish is a way to increase the amount of vegetables over the amount of pasta. It adds a whole broccoli and a jar of sun dried tomatoes as well. The more vegetables in the mixture the less pasta you will need and the more nutritious the meal becomes. The kids still love it as it is still very familiar and still very close to a simple pasta-pesto.
PS: It is a recipe on the website of iFoodReal that inspired me to make this recipe.
Pasta with broccoli, sundried tomato and homemade pesto
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 2 adults and 3 kids||Total:|
- 1 broccoli
- 1 jar of sundried tomatoes (in oil)
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 300 gram pasta (for example penne or fusilli)
- For the pesto:
- 40 grams of walnuts
- 40 grams of grated parmesan
- 50 grams of spinach
- 60 ml or 1/4 cup olive oil
- Start by making the pesto, simply blend all the ingredients together.
- Then, Cut the broccoli into big flowers and steam during about 5 minutes or until starting to soften. They will cook a bit more afterwards in the pan, so make sure to undercook them at this point.
- After 5 minutes bring the broccoli in ice water for a few minutes and then drain. The cooling down prevents further cooking and helps to keep the lovely bright green colour.
- Cut the tomatoes into cubes. You can peel the tomatoes first by putting them in just boiled water for a few minutes first and then taking the peel of, but you can skip this part to win time. The peel wil come of while cooking.
- Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- Drain the sundried tomatoes and pat with some kitchen towel to take of some excess oil, then cut into smaller pieces.
- Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- Use a big frying pan and warm up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the garlic for 1 minutes.
- Add the tomato cubes and a big tablespoon of pesto. Stir and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are getting soft.
- Add the broccoli and the sundried tomatoes and cook further for a few minutes.
- Now add the pasta and 2 more tablespoons of the pesto and mix carefully not to crush the broccoli too much. Only add as much pasta as you think you need, more vegetables, less pasta is the aim.
from More Than Just Carrots