Joseph & Giada, or Your Five-Year-Old Can Make Pesto

From In the Kitchen with Bossygirl archives.

First of all, if my five-year-old met Giada De Laurentiis, he would be rendered speechless. Joseph has been drawn to (and flirted with) beautiful women almost since birth ... a true Lee man.

Second of all, if Giada met Joseph, I suspect she would be equally smitten, if only because he loves to cook. My kids spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and we’ve learned that Joseph, unlike his truly omnivorous sister Sophia, eats better if he has a hand in preparing the meal.

As for basil pesto, no convincing was required. The kid who routinely picks the basil chiffonade off his dad’s homemade pizza LOVES pesto! Devours it. Kids are weird, right?

On to our culinary adventure. Short on time and long on basil courtesy my Ollin Farms CSA, Joseph whipped up a batch of Giada’s basil pesto. In about 5 minutes. And mostly by himself.

One quick word about the basil. The farm delivers the bunches with the roots still intact. Brilliant! You can place them in water like fresh flowers for a much longer shelf (or counter) life.

Using my trusty 17-year-old Cuisinart, Joseph was able to manage nearly all of this recipe solo. I merely measured for him and toasted the pine nuts. Other than that, he picked the leaves off the basil plants, pulsed, puréed, grated and tasted for seasoning. And it was outstanding! Nothing tastes more like pure, unadulterated summer. Sadly, our pesto wasn’t served with grilled tuna steaks as in the recipe – we simple served it over frozen ravioli. No judgement.

So, if you don’t have a five-year-old handy, you’ll have to tackle pesto on your own. Head to your local organic farm stand, grab a handful of basil and get cooking. Oh, and if someone wants to bring me the tuna steaks, Joseph and I would be happy to make our pesto again!