Well…at least until I’m on a mint kick. Or a rosemary. Dang! It’s just to darn hard to choose…
As of today, basil is my favourite herb.
I love its earthy taste and intoxicating, vaguely licorice-like smell. Gathering and chopping basil is one of my favourite tasks to do in the kitchen; it’s almost therapeutic. The smell lingers on my fingertips for a good hour or so and every time I get a waft of it I smile. Basil is such a mood booster. It’s like a hug to the nose.
You can imagine, if I’m such a fan of basil, that I’m an even bigger fan of pesto. Before I started making my own pesto, I was always happy with the prepackaged stuff from the grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I do still keep a jar of it in my fridge for emergencies. But once you’ve tried making your own pesto, well, you never go back.
Homemade pesto kicks store-bought pesto’s ass.
Plus, it’s rediculously simple to make. Lots of basil, a bit of garlic, a splash of lemon juice, a handful of Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Throw it all in the food processor and whiz away until everything is beautifully chopped up. Add a little oil. Taste test. Adjust accordingly. Taste test again. Perfect pesto, every time.
These rolls are a cinch to make. Whipping together the pesto takes no time at all, and using those prepackaged, refrigerated buttermilk biscuits means you can have these rolls ready to serve in under half an hour.
I know I just said prepackaged kicks store-bought’s ass, and when it’s regarding pesto, it does. But you just can’t beat those prepackaged refrigerated biscuits. They’re just so convenient. I may have time to therapeutically throw together some pesto, but I don’t always have time to make dough.
To make these rolls, separate the biscuits and cut them into fourths. Dunk each piece in a bit of pesto, and place in a lightly greased muffin tin. Each muffin cup should have about 3-4 pieces of pesto-dipped biscuit batter. Top with a bit more pesto and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, then bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Garlicy, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth dinner rolls. Be sure to pair these with a balanced meal, unless you’re like me and are prepared to eat 5 of them out of the pan right away. Oops!
|Cheesy Pesto Garlic Monkey Bread Rolls|| |
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 (16-ounce) tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pesto* (recipe above)
- To make the pesto: In a food processor, blend pine nuts, basil, garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, scraping down the sides as needed. Once everything is all good and chopped, add the oil, a bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Taste test and adjust accordingly.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.
- Cut each of the biscuits into fourths, making a total of about 40 pieces.
- Dip each piece of the biscuits into the pesto, then place in the muffin cups. Each muffin cup should hold about 3-4 pieces. Top with a bit more pesto and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan.
- Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.