Recently I start buying living basil in the grocery store. It is much easier way of having fresh basil available and not to worry that will go bad quickly in the fridge or outside in the pot. It grows perfectly on the balcony, half shade in a bigger jar filled with water. Basil can last up to few months. Fresh Basil is one of my favorite herbs. It has amazing aroma and it is excellent source of vitamins and minerals: vitamin k, manganese, copper, vitamin a, vitamin c, calcium, folate, iron, omega-3 fats and magnesium. Basil has also anti inflammatory properties.
Since bunch was almost completely used I made fresh pesto sauce with soy nuts and grated Gruyere and Swiss Cheese. Taste was fantastic, creamy and simply wonderful! In my pantry I had package of regular potato gnocchi and leftover of sweet potato variety in freezer. Combination was a success, yummy!
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup soy nuts
1/2 cup Gruyere and Swiss cheese
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
Gnocchi packed, potato or sweet potato, fresh/packed or frozen
Blender or food processor, cooking pot
Blend half the basil with the nuts, cheese, and garlic. Place 1/2 of the basil in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment or blender. Add the nuts, cheese, garlic, pepper and salt and process or blend until the ingredients are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining basil. Process or blend until a paste has formed.
Stream in the olive oil. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil. Less olive oil will make a paste good for spreading on sandwiches and pizzas; more will make a sauce better for pastas.
Taste and adjust. Taste the pesto if you need to add more salt or pepper to taste.
Using and storing pesto. Pesto will darken and brown very quickly, but will still be tasty and fresh for several days. For best appearance, use it right away.
Using medium heavy bottom pot, boil the water with pinch of salt. Add gnocchi and cook until it floats to the top (about 1 minute). Do not over-crowd the pot with gnocchi and do not overcook.
Place 1/2 of cooked gnocchi in saute pan with prepared pesto. Stir together and cook until warm, about 1 minute.
Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Great lunch idea for quick and healthy meal during busy week days.