Thursday, July 22, 2010

There's Basil In My Garden and Pesto In My Bread!

Each summer I plant a garden just for the basil and tomatoes. But since I'm taking the time to grow a garden, I might as well plant other things also. So I have peppers, jalapenos, anaheim peppers, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, beets, carrots, cantelope, acorn and butternut squash and different herbs.

I look forward to harvesting the basil so I can make pesto. I make a lot of pesto! I freeze it in 1 cup containers so I can use it through out the coming year.

We use basil as a sauce on pizza, pasta, lasagna, sandwiches, soup, spread on bread, spread on toasted bagels with cream cheese, salad, grilling sauce for chicken, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, salad dressing, dipping sauce for veggies, and a fabulous pesto loaf.

I recently found a new way to use pesto! I roll
out my french bread and spread the pesto on the dough.

I roll up the dough and put the loaf in a pan. Let bread rise and then cook. When it is cut each slice has a spiral of pesto in the bread. It's tasty and pretty.
After experimenting I have come up with some variations:

* After rolling the dough with the pesto, cut the dough in half down the center lengthwise and twist it.

Put the loaf in the pan to rise and cook.

* Or, when spreading the pesto on the dough add some drained sun dried tomatoes and roll up the dough. Put the loaf in the pan and then slice half way through the dough down the center lengthwise, sprinkle some parmesan on top. As it rises it looks beautiful.

*Try other ingredients. For example: pine nuts, cinnamon, sugar and pecans, cheese, onions, pizza sauce, etc - the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

All of these techniques work and look beautiful. Try them and see which way you like the best.

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