Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Let me just start off by saying....it's not the pesto on the biscuit that makes this a Pesto Biscuit. It's whats inside. I mean...that would just be 'pesto on a biscuit'. And why would I blog about that, right?
For the first time in my life I have a little herb garden. It's so nice and smells wonderful. I have mint, rosemary (actually, I've had the rosemary for years...it's rather large and grows, in an unruly fashion in my front yard), cilantro, chives, dill, lavender and sage. Oh....and basil! Sooo....for the first time in my life, I get to make pesto from my own homegrown basil. I like that. I like the idea of making stuff from scratch....with my own hands. Like they did in the old days (when I was a kid, I wanted to live like The Little House on the Prairie). I even take this "thrill" to other areas of my life.....other hobbies. When I use to tole paint...I got a scroll saw and cut my own wood pieces. When I crocheted, I had this wild idea of having my own sheep and finding a spinning wheel so I could spin my own yarn (that idea never came to fruition...sheep smell). When I had pet birds, I decided I wanted to see baby birds and bred them (I once had 80 birds until my dogs worked the aviary cage door open and released them all into the wild.....Fly, Be FREE! That was a costly mishap). If I could have chickens, I would. If I had a larger backyard, I'd have fruit trees everywhere. You get the idea...
Anyways...here I sit, in my little city house growing my little city herb garden and joyfully making fresh pesto. If you're interested in my recipe ----> click here <---- I had so much basil over the weekend that I was able to make 3 batches. One for a friend, one for the freezer and one for the fridge. From the looks of things, I'll probably have enough to make another batch any day now.
In the midst of soaking my basil leaves and making sure they were all clean.... Btw....basil from the garden requires a bit more attention than the store bought stuff. I mean....you're bound to come across at least one free-loader
This is proof that there are wild things living in the backyards of city homes. But, I'm sorry to say....this was his last appearance. I'm not the kind of person who's going to re-release him into the wild. I'm sure there are enough of them out there already. When they're outside, I leave them alone (unless its a black widow).....when they're in the house (even if I inadvertently brought one in) their number's up. Funny how I assumed it's a "he". Hmmmm....best leave that one alone.
Sooo....I had a few extra, clean, basil leaves and decided that I wanted them in a biscuit. Since I had pesto on the brain, I went ahead and added pine nuts and Parmesan cheese as well. Thinking back....I should've added garlic. I wonder why I didn't think of that then? I mean...that's a no brainer. Garlic goes in everything! Hmmm....maybe spidey threw my game off. It certainly couldn't have been the cocktail I was experimenting with. (If you want to see how that turned out....visit Cocktail Puppy and check out my Seven More Sins.)
Well, here's my garlicless recipe....if you like garlic, I recommend adding some...according to taste.
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (toasting them a bit gives them more flavor)
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil
6 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 425'.
Chop up the pine nuts.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pine nuts and basil
Doesn't that look so fresh and tasty? And it's not even made into anything yet!
Using a pastry blender, fork or fingers....work the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have small pea sized pieces.
Add the cheese...stir with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and sour cream and mix until just combined.
Dust your work surface with a bit of flour. Turn out the dough and knead 3 - 5 times just to get the stuff to come together. (hint: over kneaded biscuits = tough biscuits, ie: paper weights).
Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick. Cut the biscuits with a 2" round cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake until golden brown for about 12 - 15 minutes.
The result? A tasty little morsel that's mildly flavored and the perfect side for most any dish. I guess that means that biscuits aren't just for breakfast. These babies are for dinner!