Sunday, September 7, 2008

...Pesto Genovese ....and More!

A trip to the local market this weekend resulted in baskets of herbs throughout my kitchen. Preserving them can be fun. Basil is one of my favorite herbs and pestos are a snap to make and a good way of preserving the goodness of not only basil but parsley, tarragon, cilantro, thyme, oregano and the list goes on. Pestos can be kept refrigerated for a week. However, if you freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and then store them in a Ziploc they can last considerably longer. Just pop them in your favorite savory dish for an immediate flavour boost. If you intend to freeze the pesto (and who can resist using it immediately) make sure you omit the cheese and add it at the time you serve it with a quick whirl of the processor. The pics today are of my Genovese pesto.To make pestos, simply whirl all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender. When it is well chopped, add the oil in a thin stream to form a smooth paste (or leave some batches a bit chunky for the colour, depending on the sauce you will use it for).

All of the pestos below make 2 cups. I made 8 little 250 ml jars to freeze for hostess gifts.

Pesto Genovese
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin please!)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Pesto Provencal
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro Pesto
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1 small fresh chile, or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Fine Herbs Pesto
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

5 comments:

  1. This looks totally yummy. It's breakfast but I'm now thinking about dinner!

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  2. Wow Trish you have had quite the Chem Sunday! Are you wiping your brow right about now??
    Amazing stuff...

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  3. Here goes. Pesto is the best. And I have never thought about making pesto. But I do have all those herbs, so why not try. Pesto on a piece of Anneliese's bread with a slice of tomato is the best.
    Homemade pest will be that much better.

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  4. it looks so easy, so why do i buy it. thanks for all the varieties.

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  5. I have never made pesto .. .I've bought it and frozen what I can't use up but now that I see your tutorial .. I'll just whip up my own. . what a great idea for a hostess gift Trish.

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