It’s that time of year: we’re getting excited about spring gardens! Chris is joined by Niraj Ray from Cultivate the City. Cultivate the City is committed to transforming urban food deserts into thriving, vertical, organic gardens. Niraj shares his passion for vertical farming, fixing the food system, working with elementary school gardens to spread healthy eating, and cooking one of his favorite Indian recipes. And get into a springtime mood by trying our “Can Do” recipe this week: Pesto!
Episode 8 “Can Do” Recipe: Pesto
4 large handfuls of fresh, clean but dry basil leaves
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons pistachio nuts (salted or unsalted, we use these instead of pine nuts for our pesto)
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino
Up to ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt flakes (to taste)
Using a food processor, put the garlic clove and pistachios into the bowl and pulse a few times.
Place your garlic cloves and pistachios into a food processor and pulse a few times until they’re ground. Then, start adding some of the parmesan and pecorino pulsing a few times in between each addition of cheese until you’ve used all your cheese.
Now start to add the basil leaves a handful at a time. You want to be careful to not overchop the leaves. Be very gentle and pulse the leaves until they are chopped down, and then add another handful. Keep doing this until you’ve used all your basil. Start to drizzle olive oil into the food processor, pulsing a little at a time.
Spoon it all out and store it in an airtight container like a jar. Leave a little room at the top to cover with olive oil before sealing it. This prevents oxidation of your pesto. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it or freeze it for up to several months.
There are so many ways you can enjoy pesto! Spread it on a pizza, eat it with tomatoes and mozzarella, dip crackers in it, spread if on bread, or toss it over pasta. Enjoy!
Special thank you to this week’s sponsor: Veteran Compost
Veteran Compost DC is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in DC that focuses on turning food scraps into high quality organic compost. They provide food scrap collection, finished compost, and other great products and offer collection service for residential and commercial customers in DC, Northern Virginia, and the Maryland suburbs. Veteran also offers pick-up/delivery and special event service for those who want to host or organize green, sustainable weddings, parties and events. For more information, visit veterancompost.com.