Pesto, Pasta, and Kids

I've been making pesto with the fresh basil from our CSA this week. I used this recipe, which uses walnuts instead of pine nuts. I love pine nuts, but we're always out. I used sunflower seeds in pesto once, but the flavor was a little weird. The walnuts worked very well, and you get to feel good about all those Omega-3's.

But, also - have I mentioned my little 4-cup food processor? When John and I got married, he had a fancy food processor and I had a little blender. The blender had fewer parts, so it was fast and easy to use, but it only worked with a lot of liquid. A food processor is great of course - I grew up using my mom's - but it was so big and had so many parts, I found myself avoiding using it. Am I'm the only one who doesn't like appliances with too many parts?

Enter the 4-cup food processor. It works well for small portions, for blending soups, pureeing pesto (hummus, guacamole, baba ghanoush...). It does everything my blender did, and most things my big food processor did. It's small of course, but so far I haven't had a single recipe it was too small for. It only has four pieces, and the handy lid keeps the motor part from getting dirty. Plus you can just pull the blade out, put the lid on and put your pesto in the fridge. Anyway, this gadget has simplified my life and kitchen and I thought I'd pass it on. I found mine at my local Target.

What do you use?

Back to Pesto: It's oh so yummy. But my kids won't eat anything with specks and stuff. I don't want to make them their own separate meal, but I also get that they're picky and that's just normal at this age. 

Pasta is an easy compromise. After cooking the pasta, I put some in a separate pot for them. I add pesto and vegetables and nuts or whatever to ours. They get butter and parmesan. But, when I serve it they get nuts and raw veggies on their plate. Usually this means I don't have to do any extra prep work, and we're all eating mostly the same ingredients. 


Martha said...

I've been making pesto using pistachios! I do like using pine nuts, but they've gotten more and more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Because pine nuts are so expensive, I use toasted pumpkin seeds. The flavor is very similar to pine nuts, and you can buy raw ones and toast them yourself to control how light or dark they are.