Sunday, February 26, 2012

Basil Pesto

Two recipes for pesto are given here.  One can be made with or without Parmesean cheese - to be served with meat, etc.  The second is dairy-free - so it can be served with anything.   I normally add a bit of cayenne to my pesto - also I enjoy the tang of the lemon.  Taste just after blending it up and add a bit of salt, pepper or lemon if wish. 

For a beautiful sauce for grilled salmon or Ocean trout, mix a ratio of 1 Tbsp. Mayonnaise with 1 tsp. pesto.  It is so delicious with fish! 

Leftover pesto can easily be kept, tightly covered in the refrigerator for 5 days.  It also freezes beautifully!

Basil Pesto - recipe #1


45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts- toasted
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh basil leaves - wash three times and check for insects
2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped up a bit
60g (3/4 cup) shredded Parmesan cheese (Optional)
5 tbs olive oil

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 325 degrees F. Watch them carefully as they will go from being just right to burning very quickly. I often do this step in a pareve pan on top of my stove - I find it easier to watch this way. Allow to cool.

In a blender, food processor or magic bullet, place basil leaves, garlic, parmesean (if you want this for a dairy recipe) and olive oil and begin to blend. Pulse a few times and then stop and make sure all ingredients are mixing well. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Blend until you have a thick puree. Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it needs 'something' I add a dash of cayenne to mine!

K (D) if Parmesean cheese is used K (P) if you omit the Parmesean cheese.

Dairy-Free Basil Pesto - recipe #2


2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves, washed three times, checked for insects
1/3 cup toasted Pine Nuts (see toasting instructions in recipe above)  or Walnuts (or perhaps raw sunflower seeds for those who are tree nut-free?)
3 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed Lemon Juice (more or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp. Salt
In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves with the nuts (or seeds), lemon juice and sea salt.  Pulse a few times until mixture is reduced in volume and the mixture is well incorporated.

Add the garlic and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the blender or food processor is running, stop to scrap down the sides with a rubber spatula. Taste.  Add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed. Serve with pasta, chicken, fish, grilled vegetables or even on bruschetta!

K (P)

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