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Old 02-02-2005, 05:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,357
Pesto-bilities

Here are a few I've collected over time, & thought I'd share.

Toss w pasta (or lasagna), toasted pine nuts & top w crumbled Feta cheese. Stir into stews, coat meat, chicken or lamb before roasting, or stuff pesto under the skin of a chicken breast before roasting. Serve as a dip w crackers or crostini. Fold into mashed potatoes. Serve w tomato slices & Balsamic vinegar & ground pepper or in a pita pocket w your favorite fillings, i.e. chicken, fish, etc. Top a pizza w some pesto & veggies.

ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO
The idea for this recipe is from a pesto sold @ a local market, but this version contains much more basil. Increase the lemon peel & Parmesan, if desired.
1 (12-oz) pkg frozen artichoke hearts, thawed/rinsed/well-drained
1 c packed fresh basil leaves
1 lemon, grated peel & juice
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c olive oil
3-4 tbl water
Seasoned salt & garlic pepper to taste

In food processor w metal blade, combine all ingredients. Process until finely pureed but not smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Place in glass or plastic container, cover & chill until serving time. Makes about 1 1/2 c.

ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO DIP
1 c Artichoke Lemon Pesto (recipe above)
1/4 c Mayonnaise
1/2 c + 1 tbl Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients except 1 tbl cheese until blended. Spoon into baking dish & sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake 30 mins or until cheese bakes into a golden crust. Serve w crackers.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO
1 1/2 c drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 c grated Parmesan OR Romano cheese OR a combination of the two
1/2 c packed fresh basil leaves
3 tbl toasted pine nuts OR blanched slivered toasted almonds
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
Salt & pepper

In food processor w metal blade, combine sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, basil, nuts, garlic & shallot & process until chopped. Add oil & process until mixture is finely pureed, but still has some texture. Add salt & pepper to taste. Cover & chill until serving. Makes about 1 1/2 c.

BASIL PESTO
2 c packed fresh basil leaves
3 tbl pine nuts, walnuts OR pistachios
2 lg cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 c olive oil
3 tbl freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese

In food processor w steel blade, place basil, pine nuts & garlic. Process until finely minced. Add oil & cheese & process until mixed in. Transfer to a bowl, cover & chill. Makes about 3/4 c.

DILL PESTO
Refreshes cucumbers, green beans, potato dishes, melon, yogurt dips, sauces & egg dishes.
1 1/2 c packed fresh dill leaves
1/2 c packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tbl walnuts, pistachios OR pine nuts
2 lg cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
3 tbl olive oil
2 tbl freshly grated Parmesan OR Romano cheese

In food processor w steel blade, place dill, parsley, nuts & garlic. Process until finely minced. Add oil & cheese & process until mixed in. Transfer to a bowl, cover & chill. Makes about 3/4 c.

ZUCCHINI PESTO
1 c packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 c walnuts, toasted
1-2 cloves garlic
2 med OR 3 sm zucchini, trimmed & cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 c (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
Seasoned salt & garlic pepper to taste

Blend basil, walnuts & garlic in food processor fitted w metal blade until finely chopped. Add zucchini, Parmesan & green onion; process until chopped. Add oil & process until mixture is finely chopped. Season to taste w salt & garlic pepper. Transfer to a glass or plastic container, cover tightly & refrigerate. Makes about 2 c.

GREEN OLIVE PESTO
1 1/2 c firmly packed drained pimiento-stuffed green olives, rinsed & well drained
1/3 c pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, cut up
1 tbl drained capers
1 c packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley OR basil leaves
3 tbl basil leaves (if using parsley)
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbl freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In food processor fitted w a metal blade, process olives, pine nuts, garlic, capers & parsley until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream & cheese; blend well. Cover & chill until serving. Makes about 1 3/4 c.

THREE-HERB PESTO
2/3 c firmly packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 c firmly packed fresh mint leaves
2/3 c firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
1/3 c pine nuts
1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 lg cloves garlic, minced & mashed to a paste w 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c olive oil
1 tbl balsamic vinegar OR to taste

In blender or food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated in a jar w a tight-fitting lid. Let pesto come to room temperature before using. Makes about 1 c.

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Old 02-03-2005, 02:16 AM   #2
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try bleu cheese and toasted hazelnuts instead of feta and pine nuts with the pesto pasta. i do this and it's really good.
thanks for all the ideas, mish.
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