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Old 11-02-2011, 02:20 PM
CaliforniaCook CaliforniaCook is offline
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Default Pesto-bilities

Pesto-bilities: 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
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.

Lemon-Parsley Pesto
In a food-processor bowl combine 4 cups fresh spinach leaves (about 8 ounces), 1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts, 2 cloves garlic quartered, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and process until nearly smooth. (If desired, use a blender and add 2 to 4 tablespoons water with the spinach leaves.) Makes about 1 cup.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO
8 oz. jar Sun dried Tomatoes in olive oil
2 oz. Basil, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Add all ingredients in a food processor and puree till smooth. Remove to a bowl & season with salt and pepper.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO - 2
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.

Sun-Dried Tomato Walnut Pesto
1-1/2 ounces sun-dried tomato halves
2 cups boiling water
1 bunch Italian Parsley leaves, washed
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 stalk green garlic, trimmed like you would a leek or green onion, chopped (or 1 chopped garlic clove)
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes, optional
S & P to taste

In a medium-sized heat-proof bowl, combine the tomatoes and boiling water. Let stand until the tomatoes are plump and fairly tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the tomato soaking water, then drain the tomatoes and chop them coarsely. In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, basil, walnuts, olive oil, reserved tomato water, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, chile paste, a generous grinding of pepper and salt. Process in short bursts, stopping several times to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. The mixture should be evenly chopped but chunky. Serve over pasta or as an appetizer dip or spread. Yield: 2 cups

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, 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, 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.

Alfredo Pesto
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
1/3 c. walnuts
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. fettucine, cooked

Finely chop basil, walnuts, and garlic in food processor. Gradually add olive oil while machine is running and process until smooth. Mix in 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pesto to a small jar. (Pesto can be prepared 3 days in advance. Pour enough olive oil over sauce to cover.

Cover and refrigerate.) Bring cream to slight boil in medium saucepan. Be careful not to burn the cream. Once cream begins to boil, whisk in pesto. Season sauce with remaining 1/4 c. Parmesan in large bowl. Toss to coat pasta evenly and serve. Serves: 2 Serving size: 1 1/2 c. Add chicken or shrimp to this dish if desired.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:54 PM
BreezyCooking BreezyCooking is offline
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Default Re: Pesto-bilities

These are terrific CC - thanks!!

I'm particularly interested in trying the Artichoke-Lemon one, as I buy one now that I love, but it's rather pricey.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:26 PM
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Cooksie Cooksie is offline
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Default Re: Pesto-bilities

They all sound great! I'm going to have to try the warm artichoke lemon pesto dip. Thanks!
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