12.5 – Pesto

This is the number my mom chose.  It’s her birthday this week (a big one that she doesn’t want me to mention but she’s not old and if you know my age, well, you can probably figure it out).  Anyway, 12.5 is her birthday so she picked that number.

I’ll get to cooking soon enough, but this blog isn’t all about cooking, it’s life, too.  And my intention is to say something about each person who contributes a number, whether I know them well or have never met them.

My mom, and I’m going to try not to get too deep here, is the strongest woman I know.  She has given my brothers and me the world.  She loves my kids to the moon and beyond.  She lives near us, so we are blessed to see her, and her wonderful husband, often.  She’s a source of inspiration and I am so proud that she’s mine.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Okay, so 12.5 – Cookbook #12, right now (and this may change as my collection grows and changes) is Saltie.  I can’t remember why I bought this cookbook; it must have been recommended in one of my cooking magazines.  I love Saltie.  Saltie is a “not just a sandwich shop” sandwich shop in Brooklyn, New York.  I have never been, but someday hope to visit.  The book is filled with amazing sandwiches, soups and pastries.  The photography is gorgeous, you should definitely pick it up.  I have spent a lot of time just flipping through its pages for inspiration.  I am excited she picked this number because, honestly, I haven’t made a lot from it.  And this is one of the main reasons for doing this blog.

.5, okay so here is something I’ll run into with this number game.  Page 5 in this book, as in most cookbooks, is the introduction, the pantry list or something similar.  I added a 0, so, page 50 (and no, she’s not 50, that would mean she had me when she was 15, she didn’t).



I love pesto.  I think it is delicious, yes, but mostly I love the color of pesto.  That brilliant green green.

A confession here, pesto is not hard to make but I don’t usually make it, I procure it.  I have found a jarred pesto from Trader Joe’s that I like and think is just as good as any you’d make at home.  So, now you know.

I’m cooking here, though, so pesto is the recipe of the week…

This Pesto recipe, adapted from Saltie, is a very simple, basic recipe.  Nothing to shy away from and absolutely delicious.  This recipe makes about one cup.

You’ll need:

  • food processor (you can do this with a chef’s knife but a fp makes it soooo easy)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (adjust this to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • sea salt
  • large bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup ev olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • fresh ground pepper


Put the garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse or purée into a coarse chop.


Add the basil leaves and, while puréeing, drizzle the olive oil into the fp (this will help loosen the mixture).  Mix until pesto is blended, but not perfectly smooth.


Transfer the pesto to a bowl, mix in the grated cheese, and season with s & p to taste.

Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap against the surface of the pesto, and refrigerate up to 3 days.


I love pesto on just about anything but, especially, just simply toasting a few slices of a baguette with a little ev olive oil and a dollop of beautiful fresh burrata cheese.


I wrapped the jar of pesto with a simple tiny gold spoon from West Elm.  Adding a simple touch will make your homemade gift even more special.  Plus, I love spoons!

Off to Grandma’s (my kids call her Ama) house we go…Cheers!

11 thoughts on “12.5 – Pesto

  1. The color of your pesto? Vivid! Fertile! Luscious! Oh, the color! There’s something about food-related green–bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, pistachios–that gets my taste buds revved up. Looks beautiful! I’m so excited to see the overall beauty here, too, that is your blog! Yay! I’m a mostly full-time vegan, so even though I might not be following the recipes verbatim, I’m positive that you’ll have me challenged to find ways I can scramble to find substitutes for what looks to be delicious recipes. Cheers to the Incidental Spoon!

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