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Old 08-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #11
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I like cilantro pesto: Cilantro (leaves and stems), garlic, walnuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, a few pinches salt, and lemon juice. The lemon juice makes all the difference - really picks it up.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia View Post
There are two things I don't mess around with in the recipe - one is pesto and the other is quacamole - no daring changes for me. They are both so good that I don't think there could be an improvment.
IDK about guacamole (not a huge fan), but I'm totally with you on pesto. I'm so anal, I won't make a pesto if the pine nuts aren't properly toasted (either on acquisition, or done myself in a 350 oven for 15 minutes)
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merstar View Post
I like cilantro pesto: Cilantro (leaves and stems), garlic, walnuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, a few pinches salt, and lemon juice. The lemon juice makes all the difference - really picks it up.
I imagine it kills the bitterness from the walnuts.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #14
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The traditional Basil Pesto (fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese) is the only one I really enjoy.

The only one I enjoyed outside of that was an "Arugula Pesto" used to top baked oysters in a local restaurant.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #15
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I tried pistachios instead of pine nuts years ago, and that is what I go with for the most part (with the other traditional ingredients). Perhaps because of their high fat content, AND my location, I was getting some very expensive, but sometimes rancid, pine nuts.

Because I always have a bumper crop of herbs and don't quite know what to do with them, I make "pestos" of various ingredients, but I would never presume to call them Italian pesto. They are just ways to freeze my herbs in a very accessible, semi-fresh tasting and menu-ready way.

My favorite way is something I call my "Southeast Asian Pesto". It is in no way shape or form pesto, is it just a paste that I can use throughout the year. Use approximately the proportions you use for a traditional Italian pesto:

Peanuts (instead of pine nuts)
Peanut oil (instead of olive oil)
garlic
ginger (I use about an inch per food processor bowl full, but my husband and friends LOVE ginger)
lots of basil; for this I love lime basil, but most basil will do)
cilantro (just a touch)
A couple of hot green chili peppers (I'm going for the Thai green chili thing here)
Squeeze of lime juice, some lemongrass if you have it, if not some lime or lemon peel

Put everything except the oil and the basil in the food processor and chop until very fine. Then add the basil and pour in the peanut oil until it reaches a pesto-like consistency. At this point it can be frozen.

A tablespoon or two added to a can of coconut milk and and equal amount of stock, with or without the meat of your choice, and some fresh vegetables makes a great southeast Asian soup. Pour it over a scoop of Jasmine rice and you have a full meal.

I suppose there should be another word for this. Green curry paste is presumptuous, but it comes close.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:45 PM   #16
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I usually stick to the basics, but once in a while I will switch up the herbs. I once did a spinach/oregano/marjoram mix that I really liked, but I still like basil the best.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:56 PM   #17
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Kadesma.... just cause I didn't believe it until I tryied it, try a traditional pesto with capers and cashews added instead of pine nuts. equal amount of cashews as pine nuts, with 2tablespoons of minced capers. the combo really impressed me. keep the salt in check if the capers are to salty to not add additional. same with the nuts. I use unsalted cashews.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:37 PM   #18
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Oh, Ms. Claire, that sounds wonderful--I will be trying that!!
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #19
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It sounds great with pistachio nuts!
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:07 PM   #20
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Usually walnuts instead of pine nuts
And usually a 50/50 basil / spinach mix to tone down the the basil flavor.
Sometimes a little extra olive oil, i dont like it too pasty .
And sometimes ill mix it in with the pasta along with broccoli florets.
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