Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pesto Recipes

Thanks Chele!

Basic Pesto
1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
about 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed best if freshly grated
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. Continue until the basil and garlic are a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a pesto "cake.” Transfer the pesto "cake" to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil, it doesn't take much, just a few tablespoons.
You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil.

Pesto Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups hot water
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup basil leaves, firmly packed
1 tablespoon cashew butter (or try almond butter or tahini) *
white pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
additional garlic, to taste

Sauté the onion in a non-stick pan until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more. Add the hot water and cauliflower, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until the cauliflower is completely tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the basil and cashew butter. Use a hand blender to puree the soup until it is completely smooth. (Or put the soup in batches into a regular blender and blend smooth; return soup to the pot). Add white pepper and salt to taste and add additional garlic if desired.


Basil-Parsley-Pesto Pizza

about 2 cups fresh basil and parsley (all basil, all parsley, or any combination will work).
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 T pinenuts
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-4 T olive oil, add more as needed to get proper consistency.
1 tomato thinly sliced.
8oz mozzarella, shredded
about 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms
1 pizza crust
Heat oven, with pizza stone if you have one, to 500 degrees. Mix herbs through olive oil in food processor.  Add more olive oil as needed to get a spreadable consistency. Sauté mushrooms on medium heat. Spread pesto on pizza crust.  Top with shredded mozzarella.  Sprinkle mushroom on top of mozzarella.  Arrange tomato slices on top. Bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Freezing Pesto
If there is lots of basil on hand make a big batch of pesto and freeze in ice cube trays. Once the pesto is frozen through transfer to a freezer bag or container. Pesto freezes great and the pesto cube is just the right size for most recipes.

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