mix & match pesto

is anyone else thinking about spring yet?  the third week of january gets me every year.  i start daydreaming about the smell of fresh cut grass, lounging on the deck with a good book while the sun smacks me in the face, and waking up to the sounds of birds in the morning.
but it's still january. and winter.  and not spring.

the one thing that has the effect to make it feel like spring are fresh herbs, so today i thought i'd share with you a mix and match pesto recipe courtesy of food network magazine.
pesto is perfect in winter and summer and so i feel it's appropriate given my feelings on the season right now.   oh it's also delicious.


mix & match pesto

1. pick a nut or seed

toast 1/3 cup in a dry skillet until lightly browned; let cool.  pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  • pine nuts
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • cashews
  • pecans
  • hazelnuts
  • pistachios
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • pepitas

2. choose your base
add 3 cups total (choose up to 3)

  • basil 
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • collard greens, chopped
  • kale, chopped
  • arugula
  • watercress
  • spinach, chopped
  • romaine, chopped

3. choose your seasoning

add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon total of the following ingredients (choose up to 3); add 14 teaspoon kosher salt and pulse until finely chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • lemon zest, grated
  • orange zest, grated
  • red pepper flakes 
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh oregano, chopped
  • fresh tarragon, chopped
  • fresh rosemary, chopped

4. pick a cheese

grate 1/2 cup, add to he food processor and pulse to combine.
  • parmesan
  • asiago
  • grana padano
  • pecorino
  • manchego
  • gruyere
  • aged or smoked gouda
  • aged cheddar

5. finish the pesto

slowly pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, pulsing to incorporate.  transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in 14 to 1/2 cup of any of the following (optional).  you'll have about 1 cup pesto; use about 1/2 cup for 1 pound of pasta
  • mascarpone
  • sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • olives, pitted and chopped 
  • roasted red peppers, chopped
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • ricotta

courtesy:  food network magazine |  september 2013



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