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Old 09-08-2005, 12:57 PM   #21
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yes I am afraid walnuts has a flavour a little too overpowering in pesto, cashew has more delicate taste which will compliment other ingredients. actually cashew was originally used as a kind of filler so you wouldn't have to use so much of expensive pine nuts, but I think it really gives a nice added flavour!! Well like I said I just joined today and still having a ball poking my nose here and there (this site is going to be addictive!!), when I am settled down a bit I shall start my italian cuisine 101 here so stay tuned!!


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Old 09-08-2005, 02:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by amber
Does anyone know how to make basil paste? Also, when I freeze fresh basil leaves, should I remove the leaves from the stem?
Amber hope I undertand correctly. Haven't heard of basil paste, but first thing that comes to mind is pesto (made with basil). Second part re freezing basil leaves, honestly dont know the answer. But, what I wanted to offer is a handy-dandy trick for freezing pesto in cubes.

Frozen Cubes of Pesto
Basil Pesto can be frozen and popped out of the ice-cube tray when the need arises.

You can freeze pesto in an ice tray spritzed with vegetable oil spray. Snap the cubes out of the tray and store them in
heavy-duty storage bags. Then you can throw the individual frozen cubes into pasta sauces and stews, or toss with plain hot noodles. Or thaw it and spread on sandwiches. Each cube is about 2 tablespoons, and add them to taste. A little goes a long way.

Any recipe that would benefit from fresh basil and a bit of Parmesan is a good candidate for a pesto cube. They will freeze up to three months.

Basil Pesto
2 medium-size garlic cloves
2 cups basil leaves (from a 4-ounce package), tightly
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Peel garlic cloves and drop them through the feed tube of a food processor onto moving blade. Chop finely, and leave chopped garlic in bowl.

Rinse and dry basil leaves, removing any large, tough stems. (A lettuce spinner works well for drying.) Add basil, nuts and cheese to the processor and finely chop. Scrape down sides of bowl.

With motor running, pour olive oil in thin stream through feed tube. Continue until it is mixed in. Remove pesto from bowl, stirring in any olive oil that did not incorporate. Serve at once or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 1 cup.

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Old 09-09-2005, 05:24 AM   #23
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make basil butter

This is a good way to give a nice basil flavor to things.
Basil-Horseradish butter
Just blend together basil, butter, horseradish, salt and a little lemon zest & juice. Roll into cylinders, freeze. Really good on salmon. HTH
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:14 AM   #24
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Super idea, Walt! I'll have to give that a try.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:02 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Floridagirl
stupid question.........what is evoo ?
Its a term from someone that watches food network too much :)
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:06 AM   #26
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We're expecting our first frost any time now, and I have a great basil plant. I already have enough pesto to last the year in the freezer. I was watching Jacques on TV yesterday morning and plan to follow his advice. He says to blanch the basil to make it keep its color, then chop in the food processor with a drop of olive oil before freezing. Usually at this time of year I simply email a couple of neighbors who come and get what basil they need. One year I had so much that we gave it away to our local Italian restaurant. Since then I've tried to keep it down a bit! Yes, remove the stems. You can remove them now or remove them later, so go with now so you have something ready-to-use in those crunches before dinner parties.
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:08 AM   #27
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Oh, by the way, we experimented with pesto using pistachios instead of pine nuts. We're hooked. Next year we're thinking of trying hubby's favorite, hazelnuts.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Claire
Oh, by the way, we experimented with pesto using pistachios instead of pine nuts. We're hooked. Next year we're thinking of trying hubby's favorite, hazelnuts.
Pistachios are great in pesto. We love it.

I have also heard that cashews are an option. I'm going to try them in the next batch.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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