Sunday, October 14, 2012

Classic Pesto—With a Secret Ingredient


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I adore pesto.  I think it’s a sauce that I love so much, but haven’t really showcased it on my blog, as much as I should have been.  Pesto is a sauce that originated in northern Italy.  The traditional ingredients of pesto consist of garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese).  It’s such a versatile sauce that you can put it on…well, almost anything that your heart desires.  I've been making pesto for a while and use it on many of my recipes.  Those recipes are rather simple ones and that’s the main reason why I haven’t post them on my blog.  But I think it’s about time to do so.  And I have a secret.  A secret ingredient to keep your pesto vibrantly green and pretty.

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Yup, the mighty lemon is my secret ingredient.  The acid from the lemon not only adds freshness and flavor to your pesto, but also keeping it bright green instead of turning brown with the oxidation.  Try it, you’ll be amazed how beautiful your pesto can stay bright green in your fridge even after a week.  That is, if they even last that long in there without heading straight to your dishes and happy tummies. 

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It’s super simple to make.  So, try this recipe out instead of buying a jar from the store the next time you want to add pesto to your recipes.  You’re going to love the homemade version.  Below is a list of things you can do with your pesto.


Pesto Serving Suggestions:

1) Spread on toasts and sandwiches, hm…yum!
2) Toss with hot pasta, scrumptious!
3) Wrap in rolls and buns, stay tuned on the future blog post.  You don’t want to miss this one.
4) Use as a sauce on pizza…can’t wait to make this!
5) Top a dollop on hot grilled steak, fish or chicken.
6) Marinade shrimps or chicken before roasting or grilling.
7) Use as a dressing on salad.
8) Dollop on a bowl of hot soup to add more flavors.
9) Fill your omelet with pesto, mushroom, cheese, etc. You’re very welcome!
10) Add some to bake with your favorite hot dips.






Classic Pesto: (Printable Recipe)

2 cups lightly packed fresh Basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 clove garlic

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until it becomes a paste.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Store in an non-reactive and air tight container.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.


35 comments:

  1. Great call with the lemon! This is a beautiful pesto - the colors alone are enough to wow.

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    1. Thank you. :) I just I just love lemons so much I put them in almost anything I made. :P

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  2. I have not used lemon in my pesto but will need to remember this trick the next time I pull out the food processor. This looks so delicious.

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    1. Thank you. Yeah, I guess I have so many lemons on hand and I always love a touch of the citrus freshness in everything. ;)

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  3. Amy,
    I'll pass the recipe along to my best friend, who loves pesto! Great idea with the lemon:)

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    1. Thanks, Jo Dee. Hope your best friend will enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. :)

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  4. Great tip! I made and froze 26 containers of basil pesto this summer for the loooooong winter ahead. I just love pesto!!

    Thanks for the kind words about Lionel.

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    1. Oh wow! 26 containers! I wish my little plant produce that much basil for me to make that many pesto! :) I can never get enough pesto.

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  5. spaghetti with pesto... yummmmy :-D

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  6. I just made some pesto with lemon and with a mix of herbs too. I always thought the secret was 'pine nuts'.

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    1. Hehe...I call the lemon the secret ingredient because it's not a traditional ingredient in pesto and it helps keep the pesto really green....but well, it's not a secret anymore! hahaha...your pumpkin puree layered with pesto is gorgeous. ;)

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  7. Love pesto, too! I always put lemon in it. I just switch up the nuts--walnuts work just as well as pine nuts and I always have walnuts on hand. Love the idea of putting it in a jar, because I have tons of those jars and always put it in a plastic container with a lid. Duh--jars it is. I know, they both work, but I'd rather use a jar. ;)

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    1. Oh yeah. Can't get enough pesto. Yes, with walnut would be just as wonderful. I like to switch up the herbs too. Try it with arugula or spinach, they are both wonderful in the pesto too. :)

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  8. Acid will definitely help do that. In fact, I remember seeing Chef Michael Chiarello add a ground-up Vitamin C tablet to his pesto just for that reason. Genius!

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    1. Wow, ground up vitamin C tablet? Smart move! :) Too bad I'm really bad in taking vitamins and don't have any around the house! Guess I should go get myself a bottle on my next grocery shopping.

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  9. Niiiiice! There is just nothing like freshly made pesto!

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    1. Oh yeah...totally agree. I can put pesto in everything! hehehe...

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  10. My daughter and I are pesto lovers and we use these same recipe and same ingredients here!

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    1. Nice...I love this recipe. :) It's versatile and delicious.

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  11. I love pesto...and before going on vacation I blended a bunch of basil, but only with olive oil...I love the idea of adding some lemon juice. YUM!
    Hope you are having a fantastic week Amy :)

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    1. Thanks, Juliana. You've got to try it with a bit of lemon. I'm sure you'll love it. Hope you had an amazing vacation.

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  12. Oh your pesto looks great and thanks for the tip about the lemon, it makes sense too. I love pesto too!

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    1. Glad you love pesto too. Yeah, try it with the lemon, you're going to love it.

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  13. I love pesto too..over pasta or just to dip my bread in! Looks very delicious on your pictures. Great recipe and the tips! Have a great day, Amy!

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. Glad you like the recipe...and oh my, I can put pesto in everything. Okay, maybe except desserts. LOL... Have a wonderful week, Sandra.

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  14. I love homemade pesto - but not that not-so-pretty color it starts to turn in the fridge. I'll have to give your lemon trick a try!

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    1. :) I'm sure you'll love this lemon trick. Have fun cooking.

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  15. I will DEFINITELY remember to put lemon when making pesto! I already know I'd love that version better than witout. My kids love pesto for sandwich and pasta!

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    1. Yeah, my kids loves pesto too (I'm so glad they do! phew...)

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  16. Ooh. I have never made pesto, it is on the list of "must try" items. This is the recipe to do it!

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    1. Thank you. Hope you'll like this recipe. :) Thinking about it...it's time for me to make another batch. They don't last long in my house. hehehe...

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  17. Sadly, my basil is history since we've had a couple of frosts here already. I'll keep your lovely green pesto recipe for next summer's basil :)

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    1. Sorry about your basil plant. Hope you'll get new ones when Spring comes around. Mine is still surviving because of the warm weather here. But I guess I'll have to use them all up really soon too.

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  18. Oh, my favourite! Muakkkkk....
    Kristy

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