I think it is time to learn how to make pesto.

I don’t really feel like I have much of a green thumb, but a couple of years ago I planted some basil. I mostly didn’t want to pay the price to get the little bit in the plastic container from the grocery store every time I wanted caprese salad. Since I planted the basil I have had more delicious caprese salads and they all have way more basil in them which is also so much fresher and tastier now.

IMG_4438 caprese salad with greens-small
Caprese salad with spring greens and balsamic vinegrette.

Then last year I split it up and put it into more and bigger planters and pots. I have never had a food processor so I never got around to trying pesto, even though I like it very much, but looking at my kitchen window ledge, I think it’s time to do more than the occasional caprese salad with the basil.

IMG_7358 basil-small

So I looked up making pesto without a food processor, and found not only is it possible, but the best way seems to be with a mortar and pestle. Makes sense, as that would have been the way to do it before food processors. I have wanted one for a while but I didn’t really feel a strong need, but now with that in mind I started researching where to get them.

They don’t seem to be an overly common kitchen item. I did see online that Bed Bath and Beyond carried them, and as I wanted a new top cover for the bed I thought I would see what they had in store. I looked and looked. I went up and down all the kitchen related isles. As I was about to give up, a worker asked me if I needed help finding anything. I said, “a mortar and pestle?”  She said “A what?” I said, “a mortar and pestle” and mimed using it. She said “Ah, I don’t think we have those, try online.” I thanked her and went on my way. I found a quilt I wanted on sale so I took that to the counter to pay for it. The sales person there asked me if I found everything okay. I said “yes, mostly.” She then asked what it was I didn’t find. I said “a mortar and pestle.” She said “a what? Is that a name brand?” Before I could role my eyes, another sales person who had over heard this exchange, who seemed a little more knowledgeable, said “We have mortar and pestles” and went off to find one. I followed and she had trouble finding one too. Just as she paged someone to verify one was actually in the store, she spied it. One lonely box hiding on the bottom shelf. So after all that I got me a mortar and pestle!

IMG_7362 mortor and pestle-small

So the next step. Make it. I bought all the other needed ingredients when I knew I was going to make pesto. I decided I was not in the mood for pasta and I like squash so I wondered if spaghetti squash would work with pesto so I decided to experiment. Taking chances. I pounded up a batch of pesto, and baked me a spaghetti squash, mixed the two together and yum. Dinner!

I used a piece of rustic seedy bread to help me clean out the mortar, Oh my that’s the way to do it!

IMG_7443 pesto spaghetti sauce-small

 

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