Curried Lentil Stew

We’ve had a return of chilly weather, which means I can make soup for dinner a few more times before this year’s heat sets in and we only want to eat cold, green things for the next seven months.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat!  Soup is just so easy and satisfying, that it’s a shame to waste the last cool nights eating salad already.

I happened upon this recipe online and, after making a few adjustments, whipped it up for dinner in 30 minutes.  It’s delightfully flavorful, unapologetically nutritious, exceptionally filling and just ethnic enough to feel like a refreshing change from the norm.

We paired ours with some queso garlic toast made from sourdough bread brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with granular garlic, chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco. Toast it under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes. Yum!

null

Curried Lentil Stew

Adapted from: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/why-i-dont-like-instant-pot-curried-lentil-sweet-potato-stew/

Serves: 5-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ – 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 pound yams or sweet potatoes, finely diced

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt or queso fresco

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until golden.

Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.

Add curry powder, salt and pepper and stir constantly for about 30 seconds to allow spices to toast.

Add tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add cubed yams and simmer another 10-15 minutes, just until lentils and yams are soft.

Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving and garnish with either yogurt or queso fresco.

I Heart Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp tacos, how I love thee.  Garlicky, with plenty of shredded cheese, cabbage and salsa, these beach-side tacos are love at first sight.  They make the perfect meal any night of the year, but especially May the 5th. So, if you need a quick, delicious Cinco de Mayo dinner, look no further.

IMG_2717.JPG

Shrimp Tacos

1 lb raw shrimp
4-6 large cloves garlic
salt
pepper
1/2 a lime (extra wedges for serving)
corn tortillas
pepper jack cheese, shredded (can substitute cheddar)
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
1 avocado, diced
blender salsa

Peel and de-vein shrimp.  (Incidentally, this is my favorite tool for doing so. Paired with a willing husband it’s really the best method.) Pat shrimp dry with paper towels so it doesn’t splatter as much when you fry it.  Or, don’t.  It’s your stovetop, you decide.

Shred the cheese and melt a little between two tortillas (like a quesadilla).  Keep warm in a tortilla warmer or under a dishtowel until you are ready to eat.  Each of these mini quesadillas will make one taco, so plan accordingly.

Finely chop your garlic and heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  You want enough room for the shrimp to fit in a single layer.

Toss in shrimp and garlic, season heavily with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, 2 minutes per side.  When curled and pink, they are done.  Avoid overcooking them, it’s really a quick process.

Remove shirmp and garlic to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Place in a bowl and drizzle any pan juices over the mix.  Squeeze half a lime over all and toss to combine.

Top each “double tortilla quesadilla” with a small handful of cabbage, a large scoop of shrimp, some avocado and a little salsa.  Serve with lime wedges and napkins. Divine.

IMG_2721

Need a good cutting board that can go in the dishwasher and won’t transfer that garlic and onion taste to your strawberries?  Check out Epicurean.

IMG_2723

Garlic makes everything better.

IMG_2726.JPG

Party on, taco lovers.

Blender Salsa

  
This recipe was born in a moment of desperation when I realized that someone had eaten the very last of the store-bought salsa and that someone else (it may have been the same person) forgot to add salsa to the grocery list when they took the last jar from the pantry. The result was disastrous: not a drop of salsa in the house. 

I am unable to live without salsa. It is my condiment of choice and I slather it liberally on dishes throught the day. A breakfast of eggs gets a nice dollop, while a lunch of nachos or beans and rice is never complete without either a scoop of pico de gallo or bottled tomato goodness. Dinner at our house often involves a tortilla, some fixins’ and, of course, salsa. 

This recipe turned out to be the solution I didn’t know I had been looking for. Our favorite commercial brands were a touch too spicy for my youngest and we were going through it quickly. 

Inexpensive, completely customizable and fast, this blender salsa pleases the whole crowd. In the event that I find myself with only an empty jar, a refill is only five minutes away. 

Blender Salsa

Yields 1 quart

1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic

2 scallions or a handful of chives

A small handful cilantro, with the bottom of the stems trimmed off

1/2-1 Jalapeno, seeded (leave seeds in for more spice)

1 small bell pepper (omit if you don’t have one)

Juice of a lime

1 tsp smoked paprika

Tiny dash ground cayenne 

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly-ground pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes, 15 oz each

With the blender motor running, drop the garlic through the small hole in the lid and let it chop. Using the same technique, add the chives, cilantro (stems and all!) pepper and Jalapeno. Turn off the motor. Add lime juice, spices and tomatoes. Pulse until desired thickness is reached. Taste for salt and add more, if needed. Enjoy any time of the day!

  

Simple Cabbage Salad With Lemon

The cabbage of my childhood came in a Styrofoam container with the red initials, “K.F.C.” on the outside.  Truth be told, I’m not sure I even knew there was cabbage in that slaw.  My dad loved it, and still does to this day.  Personally, the combination of mayonnaise and cabbage don’t do much for me.  Give me a good potato salad, or a creamy chicken salad with purple grapes bursting with juiciness, but coleslaw?  I’ll pass.  It’s simultaneously too heavy and sweet for my taste.

So, I really hadn’t actually eaten much cabbage until three years ago, when my husband and I took a trip to Israel.  I am not exaggerating when I say that we saw cabbages the size of beach balls.  I was flabbergasted!  Cabbage was everywhere at the roadside stands and in the city markets, which were sometimes nothing more than a woman with a few bags and piles of produce.  We found it pickled and dressed in every imaginable way at lunches and dinners.  Though it sometimes lay hooded in mayo-based sauces, it was also bright and crisp, sleekly dressed with the simplest of ingredients.

IMG_0343 IMG_0925

I found that I loved cabbage, though I still preferred it sans the white sauce.  This salad was born of that trip, and is now a staple at my house.  We keep a big container in the refrigerator and eat it with everything: soups, sandwiches, meat that’s been roasted or grilled and even a plate full of quickly scrambled eggs.  You probably already have everything you need for the dressing on hand, which means this side dish comes together in five minutes or less.  It keeps great in the refrigerator up to a week and is equally delicious leftover.  Even my daughter, who for the first five years of her life claimed to hate salad, comes upon me slicing huge heaps of cabbage and cries out, “Are we having cabbage salad?” in an excitement she rarely bestows upon vegetables.

IMG_4287.JPG

Simple Cabbage Salad With Lemon

1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 head purple (I refuse to call it red) cabbage, sliced thinly
Juice of one lemon
¼ – 1/3 cup tasty olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbages, rinse the heads well and cut in half.  Remove cores, slice thinly and toss in a big bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over the sliced cabbage and then squeeze half the lemon over the top.  Add about two teaspoons kosher salt and a good helping of freshly ground pepper.

Toss everything together to combine and then taste it for flavor.  It will likely need more lemon juice, though perhaps not the entire second half.  Depending on the size of your cabbages, it may also need more of salt, but taste it first to be sure.  It should be zippy from the lemon juice and well salted.  If you’re puckering up after the first bite, drizzle on a little more olive oil.  Ideally, you would prepare this and let it sit while you work on the main dish, but feel free to eat it right away if needs be.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

IMG_4291.JPG

Falafel

The last stop on our Israeli food tour is the beloved lunch staple, the falefel.  If you’ve never tried falafel before, you’re in for a treat.  You can often find these deep-fried chick pea balls at ethnic restaurants and food carts in larger cities.  Next time you’re out on the town, grab a pita full of falafel, top it with whatever array of pickles and vegetables they’re offering and a dollop of tzatziki sauce for the perfect lunch.

Falafel is made from uncooked chickpeas that have been ground with spices and a little baking powder.  Use canned chickpeas if you must, but the texture may be not be right and you may need to add more flour to get them to bind together properly when frying.  I am partial to my counter top fryer if only for the fact that I do not have to spend half an hour wiping grease out of every crevice of my stovetop and the surrounding area when I’m done cooking.

IMG_6928-001

Falafel
Adapted from The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan

1 cup dried chickpeas (or use canned, drained)
½ large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
4-6 Tbsp flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Pita bread

Optional Toppings:
pickled vegetables
sliced or chopped tomatoes
tzatziki sauce

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least two inches. Let soak overnight, and then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, garlic, and cumin.  Process until blended, but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 Tbsp of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size using your hands, or a portion scoop (40 is a good size for this) or falafel scoop.

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 ° in a deep pot, wok, or fryer. Fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. When both oil and batter are ready, fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, any desired toppings and some tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki and Other Pita Fillings

With all that pocket bread on hand, the options for lunches, lunchboxes and quick dinners are almost endless.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to eat a pita:

  • Torn into triangles with hummus or tzatziki sauce.
  • Stuffed with grilled veggies and a few pickles.
  • brushed with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan, parsley and salt then baked into pita chips.
  • Filled with thinly sliced meat, cheese and traditional sandwich fillings.
  • Stuffed with falafel (say, what?  More to come on that in a later post.).

IMG_0832

For me, no pita sandwich is complete without some flavorful tzatziki dolloped on top!  If you’ve never had tzatziki, it’s a cool, creamy cucumber yogurt dip with Turkish origins.  It is well known in modern Greek cuisine.  Versions and variations can be found all over the Middle East, often with fresh-made yogurt from sheep or cow’s milk.  Some add a squeeze of lemon juice, which is a nice addition.

You’ll want to take care with the garlic here, as it can add some real zip if you’ve got spicy cloves.  Also, the flavor of the sauce depends heavily on a good tasting olive oil, so use one that really stands out.  Serve it as a lunch of it’s own with torn pita, or atop grilled veggies in a pita for a delicious dinner.  Even my daughter, who isn’t a fan of yogurt anywhere but a smoothie, eats it up every time.

Tzatziki

1 cup plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little more for drizzling at the end)
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 large cucumber, seeded and finely diced

Mix together all the ingredients and taste for seasoning.  Scoop into a serving dish and drizzle the top with more olive oil.  Serve with pita wedges or atop a pita sandwich filled with grilled veggies or falafel.   

Ode to the Cuisine of Israel: Pita Bread

I was able to take an amazing trip to the Holy Land with my husband several years ago–an experience I will never forget.   I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the food, but I was oh, SO WRONG.  Five-star desserts weren’t the norm, aside from this one:

IMG_0359

But, the food was truly outstanding.  I attribute this mainly to the use of local, fresh produce.  People all over the country still buy their produce from local farmers and at local “stands.”  Keep in mind, this was the selection in the dead-winter of January.

IMG_0343

IMG_0914IMG_0925The variety of salads and vegetable preparations was something I have never seen in America.  I have since read in several cookbooks and on numerous food blogs dedicated to this region that no Arab woman was likely to be taken as a bride unless she could prepare eggplant in seven (the number varies depending upon the account) different ways.  I believe it.  I saw vegetables prepared in so many ways I cannot even begin to remember many of them.  I met few I didn’t love.

In fact, our favorite, deceptively simple, staple cabbage salad originated from this trip.  That recipe will have to keep for a winter’s day, however.  Today, we are going to talk about something more traditional to the cuisine of Israel: pita sandwiches.

Flat breads are the staple for cultures with ancient beginnings (think unleavened bread and manna of the Old Testament).  Whether opened up and stuffed, torn into wedges and used as a vehicle for hummus or other dips, or simply folded up into a taco shape with something delicious inside, pitas are delightful.  What child’s interest doesn’t spark when you tell them lunch will be “pocket sandwiches?”

My pita dough uses a sourdough starter, which I know just caused some people to stop reading and click elsewhere, but bear with my while I explain.  More traditional yeast bread methods always used a long soaking time and a natural yeast (sourdough) starter for leavening.  There is some indication that these historic methods actually changed the digestibility of the grains and are therefore healthier for our digestive systems.  I am not saying I’ve found a cure for Celiac or anything (that would be ridiculous, since I am no scientist) only that when I am able, I like to use the old-school method both for assumed health benefits as well as a slower, more traditional experience and final product.  If you’d rather make pita without the sourdough, I have included a second recipe below that omits it.  I am unabashedly partial to the sourdough version.  Once your pitas are done, stuff them with hummus, grilled veggies and more (don’t worry we’ll get into that later in the week).

IMG_0836

Pita Bread – Whole Wheat, Sourdough
Adapted from: http://bintrhodaskitchen.blogspot.com

Yield:  15-20 rounds
4 cups whole wheat flour (can use all white or half white and half wheat)
1 Tbsp Real kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed and bubbly, (freshly fed will give less of a sour taste to the final bread)

To Make Dough:
Mix together 3 cups of flour and salt in a mixing bowl (if kneading by hand) or bowl of a stand mixer.

Add honey, milk, oil and starter. Knead for several minutes and then add the extra flour a little at a time until dough is tacky, not sticky.

Form dough into a round, place in an oiled bowl and cover.  Allow to raise until double in size, about 4-6 hours.

To Form and Bake:
Divide the dough into lemon sized balls and use either a tortilla press or a rolling pin (or a combination of both) to roll them out rather thin, but not too thin or they won’t hold up to stuffing.  Children are ideal helpers during this step.

Place the loaves on a well-floured surface so that they do not stick and cover with a damp towel.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes while you work on the other rounds.  They won’t rise noticeably.

Preheat either a cast iron skillet or a pizza stone in the oven.  Carefully place rounds onto hot surface and cook until they puff completely, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip and cook 1-2 minutes on the other side.  Repeat with remaining rounds.  Store finished pita in a tortilla warmer to keep warm and soft until you are ready to eat them.

IMG_0811IMG_0813IMG_0815IMG_0816IMG_0817IMG_0818IMG_0819 IMG_0820IMG_0824IMG_0822IMG_0827IMG_0828        IMG_0834

Pita Bread, Instant Yeast
Adapted from: The Foods of Israel Today by Joan Nathan

1 Tbsp instant yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or a combo of wheat and white), approximately

1. Combine yeast and warm water in bowl of BOSCH mixer. Stir until yeast is dissolved; add olive oil, and salt. With motor on speed 1, add enough flour to form a firm, elastic dough.

2. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let rise until doubled.

3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, form each section into a ball about the size of a lemon. Cover with a towel and set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Lightly flour the worksurface and roll each ball to a 6-inch disk. The dough will be very elastic, so roll firmly, adding a little more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Repeat with remaining balls of dough. Cover and let rest 15 minutes

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven with a baking stone (alternately, a baking sheet pan) to 500°, or use a cast iron pan on the stovetop.  Using a peel, transfer 2 rounds to the baking stone or pan and bake 3 minutes. Remove withtongs or spatula and repeat with all remaining rounds.

Quick and Easy Dinners: Ham Fried Rice

Fried rice is a quick, crowd-pleaser of a one-dish dinner.  I love it for it’s adaptability as much as its taste.  You can switch the protein out for chicken, shrimp or even tofu (gasp!) and the veggies are whatever you have on hand.  Ideally, it is made with leftover, cooled rice, but I’ve been known to whip up a quick batch of white rice and then fry it into this dinner in under 30 minutes.  None of the hungry people at my house seemed to mind!  Assemble the necessaries and have everything ready to go so that when you begin stir frying you can stir continuously.  (Not pictured are soy sauce and the actual ham.  Do as I say, not as I photograph.  Get everything out before.)IMG_0945

Begin by frying the onions in a wok or large skillet on medium to medium-low heat in some avocado oil (or other oil appropriate for high-heat) for several minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and turn the heat up to medium-high (if your stove top is lacking in ooomph you may need to use a high-heat setting here).  Stir continuously for 1 minute.  Then add the veggies, reserving any soft ones for last (peppers, zucchini, etc.).  Stir fry for several minutes, adding remaining veggies for the final 30 seconds or so.

IMG_0950

Scoot everything over to the side of the wok and add another tablespoon of oil.  Put the rice right on the new oil and begin stir frying.  Add all sauce ingredients and the chopped ham.

IMG_0951 IMG_0954

Meanwhile, with your third and fourth arms, because your other two are busy stirring continually, cook the scrambled eggs.  I like to do this as I would an omelette and then slice it into strips afterwards:

IMG_0955 IMG_0956 IMG_0961

Serve to hungry people.

IMG_0963

Ham Fried Rice
3 Tbsp avocado oil, divided (or other oil suitable for high-heat)
1 small to medium onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
3 cups or so veggies, diced or cut into small pieces (peas, carrots, corn, green beans, peppers, zucchini, sugar snap peas and broccoli all work well here, as does one of those bags of mixed veggies from the frozen food section of the grocery store)
4-5 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 cups cooked ham, diced
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce.  Start with 3 and then taste for seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
dash fish sauce
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 0r 4 eggs, beaten.

Cook onions in oil over medium until translucent.  Increase heat to medium/high and add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Add vegetables (reserving softer veggies for later) and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, just until crisp-tender.  Add soft veggies for the last 30 seconds or so.

Scoot everything over in the wok and add another tablespoon of oil.  Place rice on top of new oil and begin to stir fry.  Add ham, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and pepper.  Continue stir frying till everything is well mixed and the ham is warmed through.  Meanwhile, cook the eggs omelette style and then remove to a cutting board.  Slice into strips.

Place rice mix in large serving bowl and top with strips of egg.  Serve with additional soy sauce at the table.

Five-Minute Fajitas

IMG_0411

Those of you with little people home during the lunch hour know that it can be hard to balance the desire for cheese quesadillas (or other kid fare) with the want of a salad or something a little more grown up.

Fajitas are a quick adult lunch (or dinner!) concocted from humble quesadilla beginnings.  No matter where you are geographically, peppers should be abundant this time of the year.  So, go grab some and dress up your next lunch!  Maybe the kiddos will even try a bite of the veggies!

Don’t be frightened off by the smoked paprika.  It’s neither spicy nor strange.  It is probably my favorite spice after salt, pepper and garlic.  It lends a smoky flavor even in small amounts.  I love to add it to rubs, marinades, soups, and all my southwestern dishes.  It really is key to the deep flavor here.

Cutting down on carbs?  No problem!  I often eat this same fajita mix over two scrambled eggs, for a protein packed southwestern lunch or dinner.

Five Minute Fajitas
makes enough filling for 4 tortillas or  2 large scrambles

1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, any color, cut into strips
1 can black beans (or other protein: a handful of shredded cooked chicken, a few strips of cooked steak.)
1/4 tsp granular garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
dash cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp good quality olive oil

4 whole-wheat or other variety tortillas (or a couple of scrambled eggs)
4 slices cheddar cheese  (or jack or pepper jack).
Optional extras for topping: salsa, sour cream, avocado, sliced black olives

Directions:
Heat a saute pan on medium for half a minute and then add a little avocado or olive oil.  Add your sliced onions and saute 3 minutes until starting to brown.  Add peppers and saute 1 more minute.  Add all spices and allow to toast 30 seconds while stirring.  Add lime juice, olive oil and beans or other protein.  Stir around until everything is coated nicely.

Gently melt a slice of cheese on each tortilla in the microwave.  If using eggs, grate the cheese and add it at the end with the other toppings.  Top each tortilla with a scoop of fajita filling and any additional toppings.  Enjoy!

*This post contains affiliate links

Beginning with Basil

Welcome to Modern Day Ma!  I’m glad you’re here!  I hope you find what you’re looking for among the recipes, ideas, and gardening tips, or just some good reading material for your day!

Summer’s bounty is upon us, and it seems a terrible time to start a blog, but it’s also the perfect time!  There is produce in every corner of the yard, farmer’s market and refrigerator and it’s either got to be eaten up, preserved, or tossed in the compost bin.  So, let’s get started with pesto!

basil boquet

Basil is my favorite herb.  When I was beheading my plants (hey, they’ve got to be convinced to keep growing) I ended up grabbing this gorgeous handful into a bouquet and then snapping this shot.  As I did so, I thought to myself that it made a perfect little decorative bouquet for someone like me!  The garden is, hands-down, my favorite place to spend time and nothing beats a delightful, fragrant handful of basil!  It can spice up tomato sauces, sandwiches, soups, eggs, salads, pizzas, meats, and even lunchboxes!

Pesto is the best way to preserve that fresh basil flavor for the long winter. I always make pesto in huge batches when I have basil and then freeze it into “hockey pucks” in my silicone muffin pans.  Just fill the muffin cups (even partially full, if you’d like smaller portions), lay them on a tray and freeze.  After the pesto is frozen, simply pop them out into a storage container or zip top bag and store in the freezer until ready to use.  Pest will defrost at room temperature in about 20 minutes.

Pesto

1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
½ to 1 cup good quality, yummy tasting olive oil (Spectrum or B.R. Cohn are my favorites)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (or use more Parmesan)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste-about 1 tsp each pepper and Kosher salt
Optional 1/2 – 1 cup toasted nuts (pine nuts, pecans, almonds)

Combine basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and roughly chop.  Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the motor running.

Don’t add too much oil. When the motor is stopped, the oil shouldn’t puddle. A good way to check is to turn off the food processor, let it sit for a minute and then check it. If there is a little olive oil that is separating out from the mix, then it’s probably enough. If it still seems really thick, add a little more oil.

Be careful not to leave the food processor on for too long, or it will turn your pesto into more of a peanut butter texture. It shouldn’t be that smooth. You should still see small chunks of nuts and/or cheese when it’s all done.

*This post contains affiliate links.