I grow a crazy amount of basil every year in order to have a good stash of pesto for winter dinners. Pesto adds such a potent flavor blast that it can perk up almost any dish, and the fresh taste can help beat down the worst winter blues. I actually grow it inside on a planting table I use in my dining room instead of hutch because, well because I don't have a hutch. Yet.
Last week we had an impromptu fire in the fire pit and being that it was impromptu we had no grilling meat, hot dogs, salmon or other fire cooking foods ready for dinner. I hit the kitchen and tore through my cupboards in desperation looking for something for dinner. It seems I need to go back to that menu plan idea, hunh? More on that tomorrow! I came up with a pretty great little dinner that suited our spur of the moment fire quite nicely. I made sauteed green beans over creamy polenta with some broke down pesto for flavor.
Broke Down Pesto? Yep, it's how you add the flavor punch of pesto without washing the food processor because it's in the dishwasher. And it feels wrong to crack in to the freezers stores of pesto before the snow flies, too. So I just used all the components of pesto individually in the green beans and topped it with grated parmesan. Yum, seriously even my kids cleaned their bowls, twice!
Sauteed Green Beans with Broke Down Pesto
2 TBSP oil divided
20 ounces frozen or fresh green beans
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped or torn
1 cup of toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan
sea salt to taste
hot cooked polenta
heat 1 TBSP of oil over medium high heat in a large skillet
when hot add the green beans, careful frozen ones will spatter
cook and stir for 8-10minutes until the beans become crisp tender and browned in spots
push beans to one side of the pan
add rest of the oil to the empty spot
heat for a moment then quickly add garlic and stir fry for 1 minute or until fragrant, don't burn it
stir in to the green beans add basil and about half the walnuts, stir again and taste for salt add as needed
serve over polenta, top with some more walnuts and some parmesan
Did you see the earth oven we built? Click here to see it and read about it!
Peace and Love--