Ankitha Gadag’s 2-Step Basil-Parsley Pesto

An Ankitha Gadag original recipe for a super easy pesto

I absolutely love pesto. Not only is it simple and quick to make, it is one of the most versatile recipes ever! Why would anyone ever buy pre-packaged pesto when it is such a cinch to make?! By making your own pesto, you can avoid all the artificial preservatives that come with most store bought products. The recipe I’ll be sharing today is an Ankitha Gadag original recipe! The key here is of course the fresh basil & garlic, but as you will see, every other ingredient can be a concoction of your favorite herbs, nuts and spices.

You can use pesto with pretty much everything. I use mine with eggs, pasta, as a spread in a sandwich, or even as a sauce to a good steak (it’s the italian chimichurri ;))

For this recipe you will need:


Ingredients:

  • Parsley (1 bunch)
  • Basil (1.5 bunch)
  • Garlic (1 bulb)
  • Nuts (1 cup of your choice, I prefer cashews or pine nuts… you can use almonds if you want to keep it healthy)
  • Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
  • Serrano (1)
  • S&P to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • lime juice to taste

ankitha-gadag-basil-pesto

Steps:

  1. Add all ingredients except olive oil into your blender ankitha-gadag-pesto

 

  1. While blending, slowly pour olive oil until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency

ankitha-gadag-vitamix

Enjoy!

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Chilled avocado & cucumber soup

Light, refreshing and creamy with cool flavors from mint and dill

You don’t normally think of soups in the summertime, especially not in Texas. However, this COLD cucumber and avocado soup hits the spot with its refreshing ingredients. It’s creamy, with a slight heat from the garlic & serrano. It gets layers of flavor from the fresh  dill and mint. Contrary to traditional hot soups, this chilled soup is absolutely delightful on a hot summer afternoon on the patio (margaritas recommended).

I was inspired to create this soup when a friend put me up to a food challenge. Her criterion was “cucumbers” and “chilled.” This was out of my comfort zone. Normally, my recipes pack heat from various spices and they normally involve a protein of some form. This was such a fun challenge, because it was so easy to make with relatively few ingredients that I would never think of combining. More than likely, most of these ingredients are already in your fridge.

Anyways, give it a shot (before the summer ends!), and let me know how it turns out 🙂

chilled-cucumber-soup

You will need:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 serrano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 english cucumber (peeled)
  • fresh mint (1 bunch)
  • fresh dill (1 bunch)
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

 

cucumber-avocado-soup

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients above in your blender.
  2. Puree to a fine, creamy texture
  3. Add salt, black pepper to taste. I topped off with some smoked paprika for a little kick 🙂

creamy-avocado-cucumber-soup

That’s it! Easy peeezzyyyy 🙂

Let me know how it turns out, would love to hear from you!

-Ankitha

 

How to make your herbs last longer!

This technique will help your herbs last over 2 weeks in the fridge!

I hate buying fresh herbs.

I mean, for nearly the same price as you would pay for an ounce of herbs in the refrigerated section, you can buy an ENTIRE PLANT. Kinda ridiculous, isn’t it? Dried herbs just don’t do the trick for me since they lack the robust flavor and plants die when you don’t water them… so I end up falling for the grand scheme – refrigerated herbs.

Sometimes, it truly makes sense to buy herbs, especially when they are hard to come by fresh. Take for example, Thai Basil. Extremely rare herb to find fresh, and can completely alter the taste of your Thai dish (if you’ve been cooking Thai all this time without FRESH Thai basil – you’re not doing it right, FYI)

Recently, I came across Thai Basil at the local Central Market, and  I was thrilled to say the least. I grabbed the remaining bunches and brought them home to save for another week, without the fear of them dying on me.

Normally, herbs last 4-5 days in the fridge (if you’re lucky). With this technique, I have had herbs last me for over 2 weeks.

Lets get started!

Fresh-Thai-Basil
Look at this beauty…
  1. Start by prepping your fresh herbs. This means, remove all the dead leaves and pat them dry.
  2. Find a nice little container to fit them. Nothing fancy, but nothing you will need any time soon. Fill it up with 3/4th’s water Thai-Basil-storage
  3. Now find a plastic bag to cover. You can normally use the same plastic bag that came with the herbs in the grocery store. Loosely cover the herbs with the bagRefrigerated-thai-basil
  4. Voila! Now you are ready to refrigerate your bouquet of herbs until you use them next.

 

Hopefully, this helps increase the longevity of your fresh herbs! Let me know how long you manage to make them last 🙂