Easy Pesto

This pesto recipe is one I’ve been making for a few years.  It’s awesome with Basil, chives, or even mint.  However, I omit the garlic if using mint.  I have a over-growing mint garden, that has ample amounts of mint for mojito’s, fruit salads, and an awesome pineapple salsa recipe.  As the end of summer comes,  I try to come up with ideas of what to do with all this mint.  It seems like such a waste to just let it go to frost as winter nears.  After making a sweet pesto of mint, pistachio, lime and honey for a fruit salad, I thought a savoury combination might work.  Turns out it was a great combination.  Mint pesto has a fresh taste that works well on chicken, pasta, a toasted baguette, or lamb.  Basil pesto I use in pasta, chicken, over baby potatoes, on a burger, mussels, pancetta and peas with orzo, in hummus, dolloped on tomato soup, on pizza, a toasted baguette… the list goes on… Okay.. Now I am hungry

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Ingredients:

Yields approximately 2. 5 cups

  • 2 cups of fresh basil, chives, or mint
  • 1 cup almonds, or pistachios or a combination
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (don’t have pine nuts, add more almonds or pistachios
  • 3/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  •  3/4 cup of olive oil (approximately)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (omit if using mint)
  •  Juice of one lime or lemon

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1.  Rinse and remove leaves from stems.

2.  For ease of drying give basil or mint a spin in a salad spinner or dry with paper towel

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3.  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until completely combined and pureed into small bits and combined.

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4.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze.

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6.  I like to make batches of pesto from my herbs in the garden and then fill trays and freeze overnight in ice cube trays.

7.  Remove the pesto cubes by running the back of the tray under warm water for 5 seconds and they pop out easily.

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8.  Store in freezer bags in the freezer for up to a year.

20130912-234023.jpgPrint the name of the pesto and the date it was made on the label.  I bring out a few cubes to defrost when I want to use the pesto in a recipe.

Tips

My experience when making this recipe is to try to use the freshest herbs available.  The day it’s picked is best.  I’ve made this with mint that was picked the day before, when it was finished it was more of a dark hunter green/brown colour as the air changes the mints fresh bright green colour quickly.

As well I find it works better to put all the ingredients in the food processor together at the start which keeps your herbs bright and green.

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