Two summers ago, I got a fever. And the only prescription was more hummus. I had just discovered the wonder of quick, easy, delicious homemade hummus, which cost me a mere $1.30 for five servings, and I got a little excited. I went a little overboard. I ate hummus every weekday for lunch for a month straight.
Hummus on a sandwich; hummus on a salad; hummus as a snack with carrots, cucumbers, or pita bread for dipping; hummus on a spoon. It was crazy. And incredibly creamy, easy-to-make, flavorful, healthy, and cost-effective. It kept me full but energized. Summer 2009 was most definitely the Summer of Hummus.
Way back in college, I was introduced to creamy pesto sauce, and promptly adopted it as my in-a-pinch go-to pasta sauce. Creamy pesto sauce had the fresh zing of pesto with the comforting creaminess of an Alfredo sauce, and could transform a simple, inexpensive penne and broccoli dish into something magical.
Except that, at $3+ per packet at Safeway (before I realized the amazing $1.61 per packet offered by Amazon), the price was less than magic. And, as a lowly sauce-in-a-packet, it contained quite a few of those mysterious -ate ingredients and was not, actually, very fresh at all. In other words, it was a perfect candidate for the 2010 Creamy Pesto Makeover Edition.
Pesto is such a fresh and easy-to-make sauce – just pop the ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth, and Tah-Dah! Fresh pesto. Whip up a quick bechamel or other cream sauce, add a little of that (more or less, to your preference) to the pesto, and Tah-Dah Numero Dos! Fresh creamy pesto sauce. (more…)