Yeah! It’s that time of year again. . . Pesto time!
And no, it’s not just for pasta anymore Pesto is delicious with pretty much any veggie, cheese, chicken, fish, or meat. Plus, it’s super yummy as a dip for tortilla or potato chips or raw veggies. Use it on pizza, dab it into tomato sauces or mayonnaise, and stir it into mashed potatoes, cauliflower, or turnips.
AND, while basil is the traditional herb used to make pesto, you can change it up and use whatever leafy, herby greens you have. In addition to basil, try using parsley or spinach or spicy baby greens. And if you don’t have pine nuts throw in a handful of walnuts or hazelnuts instead.
It’s summer. See what you can grow or what is fresh at your local farmer’s market. Bust out your food processor or blender and make up some pesto. Use the recipe below as a guide but don’t get stuck in ingredients or perfect measurements. Cooking is intuitive and it’s your time to experiment. Just be sure to remember what you added and about how much so when you’ve made the perfect pesto you can recreate it next time.
LEMON HERB PESTO
By: Elizabeth Roberts
Yield: ~1 cup
½ c. packed fresh Basil leaves
1 c. packed fresh Flat leaf Italian Parsley
1 small clove Garlic (optional)
¼ c. Pine nuts or Walnuts
zest of 1 Lemon
juice of 1 Lemon
¼ – ½ c. extra virgin Olive Oil
salt – to taste, about 1/4 tsp.
pepper – to taste
1. Add herbs, nuts, garlic, and zest to food processor. Process until nuts and herbs are ground and combines.
2. Add lemon juice. Turn on food processor and slowly drizzle in ¼ cup olive oil. Scrape down sides. If too dry add more olive oil 1 Tbs. at a time until a thick spreadable consistency is achieved.
3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and pulse a few times to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Transfer to a bowl. Unused portion can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
NOTE: This mixture will get a bit hard in the refrigerator because of the fat in the olive oil. Remove from ‘fridge about 30 minutes before use to bring to room temperature.