Have you ever tried pesto? I saw it for the first time about a year ago….Standing there in the noodle aisle, doing what I always do; trying to get some inspiration from the food in front of me. I saw this little jar that struck my fancy. Skip forward, the pesto is still here. The stores version. Not so much.
So anytime I try something new, I immediately start thinking of ways I can make it different; make it my own. I love cooking. I love making food taste gooooooood! I LOVE seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they are trying a new food and the moment it hits their system, when the flavors come together and it all reaches their brain…THAT moment, is the moment that I cook for.
Pesto, it has many purposes, each one good in their own right. It can be an appetizer dip, spread on a bread or used with noodles; the possibilities are endless! And lucky for us, it’s easy to make.
This recipe is based on garlic scapes. You may or may not know what they are. Garlic scapes are the flower buds or stalks of a garlic plant. They are removed early on in the season so that the energy will go toward the bulb. They taste amazingly awesome just like garlic.
- 15-20 Garlic Scapes
- 1/2 Cup Sliced or slivered Almonds
- 1 Green Onion
- 1/2 bunch fresh basil (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup)
- 1/3 Cup Fresh grated Parmesan
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1/2 Tsp of butter for toasting the almonds
- 4-6 Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tbsp. of celery seed for seasoning the chicken
- 1 box of noodles of choice (I used angel hair)
- Start by prepping for the pesto. Cut the garlic scapes in usable pieces for the processor. About 2 inch pieces. Cut the ends off the green onion.
- Put the garlic scrapes, basil and green onion in the food processor and start pulsing.
- While you are doing that, melt butter in a pan and toast the almonds. It takes awhile to get the scapes down.
- In a separate pan Add coconut oil or olive oil and cook chicken with celery seed on medium heat, pan covered.
- Cook the noodles according to the package.
- Back to the pesto Add salt and pepper (start with 1-2 tsp. of each), the cayenne pepper, parmesan cheese and the almonds to the food processor.
- Continue pulsing, you want all the pieces to be well blended and small.
- Once you have it at a consistency wanted. Open lid and slowly add the remainder of the olive oil while processor is still pulsing. this is very important to whip the oil in during motion.
- After all oil is whipped into mixture, the pesto is done.
- Throw 2 tbsp. in with the cooking chicken.
- When the noodles are finished; drain, rinse and put in a large bowl.
- Add about 1 cup of the pesto in to the noodles and mix. Top with a chicken breast and a small amount of parmesan cheese. Serve.
- Freeze the rest or use as a dip.
- Makes about 3-4 cups.
I love to use pesto as pizza sauce, especially with feta cheese and grilled pencil-thin stalks of asparagus.