Eleven types of pesto

lpinkmountainJanuary 1, 2014

I don't have fresh basil or parsley around very often so I'm always on the lookout for different ways to make pesto, which I love on bread when I'm having soup. Anyhow, came across this article today and thought I would share it, along with asking if anyone had any types of pesto recipes they liked, besides the classic basil and parsley ones. I'm wondering about spinach pesto? Wondering if it is too bland. I like the sundried tomato one in this link, might try that one, along with the arugula one, that sounds good too. The one I often make is with tofu, walnuts, capers, kalamatta olives and usually dried basil. I have made sage hazelnut pesto but since I am not much of a sage fan, didn't really care for it all that much. I love the smell of sage but am not crazy about the taste. A little bit goes a long way with me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eleven types of pesto from Saveur

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I've made pesto with spinach and toasted walnuts; I actually like it better than traditional pesto made with basil. I also make one with sun dried tomatoes--I think it is Giada's recipe--which is very good if you like sun dried tomatoes.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 7:46PM
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Basil is a fairly bland herb, when you think about it, so pesto made from other herbs or greens isn't likely to be much blander. I think a lot of the flavor in traditional basil pesto is from the garlic, cheese, nuts, and oil - the basil is just a little part of it and arguably adds more body and texture than flavor. Toasting the nuts will also add flavor.

I've made pesto from sage and from mint, I liked both although raw sage sure packs a wallop. I've not tried pesto made from spinach but it can't hurt to experiment.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:01AM
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One of my favorites is cilantro pesto. I have a goat cheese ravioli with lemon and cilantro pesto recipe that is fabulous. I've also had a green pea pesto that was beautiful and delicious.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Ooo Olychick that sounds lovely. Do you have the recipe handy?
I often use almonds or other nuts as pinenuts are very expensive.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 4:04AM
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I love cilantro pesto, I have a recipe for potato salad that uses a version made with pumpkin seeds. I love fresh parsley, cilantro and basil, but invariably, I buy them and they go bad in the fridge. Yes, I know, I can process them and put them in the freezer, either plain or as a paste, but I almost never get around to doing that! When I have done it, it has been great, but I rarely have enough time in the kitchen to tackle cooking much of anything. I have a rare couple of weeks off here but that will probably be it for 2014. Last year I didn't even get to do any canning, which is a shame because I love to give home canned gifts as Christmas presents! I have a food dehydrator that I might roll out to experiments with some tomatoes. I got it two years ago for just such a project but have not had time to try it yet.

Cilantro Lime Pesto from Wegmans

5 cloves Peeled Garlic
1 bunch cilantro, washed, roots trimmed
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 1-2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Tapenade style Salsa from "Small Batch Preserving"

1/4 cup kalamata olives
2/3 cup green olives
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1/4 cup EVOO
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TBLSP each red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Put all this in the groovy food processor you got from Johnliu and process until finely chopped. Good spread on crusty Italian bread or crackers. Can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for longer storage.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 9:58AM
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I have tons of cilantro in my yard right now (I just froze six full bags of it and still have a lot more), but I tend to make chimichurra with it when I want to preserve it without freezing. I do that when I am growing parsley at the same time, but I forgot to plant the parsley this year. I have a few branches of basil still left on my plant and hope it will survive until my tomatoes get ripe, but that might take a couple of weeks yet.

I also very much like pesto made with spinach, but I prefer it made with fresh spinach rather than frozen. I do not find basil to be bland at all - especially compared to parsley, but when I make pesto, basil is the main ingredient and is not overpowered by the garlic or other ingredients. I've made pesto with argula when I used to grow that, and that was very tasty - and did not need any pepper added to it.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Islay, I assume you wanted this recipe?
Goat Cheese Ravioli with Cilantro Pesto - pesto recipe follows
1/2 lb unripened goat cheese
1 1/2 TBL chopped parsley
3/4 tsp minced lemon peel, yellow part only
ground white pepper
36 wonton skins (or make your own pasta if you prefer)
2 TBL drained oil packed dried tomatoes, cut in slivers
2 TBL toasted pine nuts (see pesto recipe)

Mix cheese, parley and lemon peel with pepper to taste (don't whirl in processor or the parsley will turn it all a pale, unappetizing green). Place about 2 1/2 tsp cheese mixture in center of 1 wonton skin (keep remaining skins covered with plastic wrap). Brush skin around filling with water. Lay another skin on top of filling; with a 2 1/2" to 3" wide biscuit cutter, cut to make ravioli round; discard scraps. To seal, press skins close to filling with fingers. As ravioli are cut, place on a floured 10" by 15" pan and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat to fill remaining wontons. If making ahead, chill, covered, up to 6 hours.

Equally divide pesto among 6 salad plates; spread slightly.

Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 to 3 qt water to boiling in a 5-6 qt pan on high heat. Add ravioli, cook, uncovered, until skins are tender to bite, 2-3 min. With a slotted spoon, lift out ravioli, drain briefly, and place 3 on each plate. Garnish with tomatoes and reserved nuts. Makes 6 first course servings - from Dolores Cakebread, of Cakebread Cellars

Cilantro Pesto
In a 6-8' skillet shake 6 TBL pine nuts over med heat until golden; pour from pan, reserve 2 TBL for garnish.
In a 3-4 qt pan, bring 2 qt water to a boil over high heat.
Immerse 2 c lightly packed, coarsely chopped fresh spinach and 1 c lightly packed, chopped cilantro into water. Cook JUST until they turn bright green, about 30 seconds. Drain, (reserve 1/4 c cooking water), plunge greens into cold water, drain again and let cool, press out excess water. In a food processor, whirl spinach, cilantro, 4 TBL toasted pine nuts, 1/4 cup reserved water, 1 clove garlic, 1-2 TBL lemon juice, until smooth.

Per serving 343 cal, 47% from fat; 16g protein; 18g fat (8g saturated); 32g carb; 592 mg sodium; 34 mg cholesterol

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 3:31AM
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Lars I love your chimichurra recipe! That would be good on potato salad too!

I made the tapenade style salsa tonight for dinner on rye bread with navy bean soup as a side. Despite looking like something that came out of the garbage disposal, it was SUPER YUMMY! BF and I could hardly stop eating it. You have to really love olives though. I subbed spinach for the parsley and then added 1 TBLSP dried parsley, and also added some soft tofu, walnuts and parm. cheese to it because I wanted some protein in there. Very fresh tasting with the spinach and the sundried tomatoes.

I have a ton left over so I may serve it later in the week over pasta.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 6:56PM
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