Friday, June 7, 2013

In the mood for Pesto again...

My supply of basil this year in the garden is not much....I am a little disappointed as I love pesto with basil it is my favorite. I have learned over the past few garden seasons sometimes what grows good one year in one spot when you rotate your plantings it might not to so good the next time. That is were we are this is planted between our grow and pumpkins and both have crowded the basil out. So, I am using my radish greens....yes you can use other greens to make pesto.

Yet another couple of pesto recipes with variety worth the try....

Sicilian Nut Pesto

Source: based on a recipe in Erica DeMane's The Flavors of Southern Italy
Yield: about 2 cups
Notes: I was blown away by the complex flavors in this multi-nut pesto from Sicily. Although I briefly considered dropping the mint, thinking it would overpower some of the other flavors, I was so glad I didn't - the mint adds an underlying note of freshness to the basil that beautifully compliments the rich profusion of nuts. Also note that there are versions of this pesto that contain cheese, but you can make it without as the variety of nuts added make it a rich tasty pesto without.

1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 plump cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup (packed) basil leaves, chopped or torn
2/3 cup (packed) mint leaves, chopped or torn
about 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt, to taste 

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Begin by toasting the nuts in separate batches on a baking sheet just until golden and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes for the almonds and hazelnuts, and 7-9 minutes for the pistachios and pine nuts. (If you think you'll be vigilant enough, you can stick them all in the oven together in different pans, removing each kind of nut as it turns golden.) Set them all aside to cool. Using a towel or moistened hands, rub the skins off the hazelnuts. Combine everything in a food processor (or a mortar and pestle, if you like things done the old-fashioned way) and pulse until reduced to a slightly chunky paste, adding more oil if necessary.  Taste for salt, then store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can use this as a sauce for pasta, or as a topping for fish, chicken, vegetables, or foccacia. It also makes a awesome sandwich spread, layer a grill cheese sans wish with this add some white cheddar and you have a gourmet treat...

Pesto Rosso
Source: adapted from Patricia Wells' Trattoria
Yield: about 2 cups 
Notes: While the above pesto is fragrant, herbal and fresh, this one is gutsy, punchy and robust. It goes well with just about everything, including stronger flavors like red meat and pork. When I use it for pasta, I have no qualms about showering this one with copious amounts of cheese.

10 whole sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
4 cloves garlic
about 20 oil-cured black olives, pitted
1/2 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 small dried hot chili, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Combine everything in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse lightly until a chunky paste is formed. Taste for seasoning, correcting the balance of salt, sugar or vinegar if needed. Keeps covered for at least a week. See above recipe for serving suggestions.

I love pesto check out my collections.....I have use many other greens to create great tasting pesto's....follow this link for some pesto recipes...

Garden Peas makes a great tasting pesto....

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