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Pesto can basically be made with any nut or combination of nuts, some garlic, olive oil, and either Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano or a combination of the two cheeses. Pesto can include sun-dried tomatoes or red peppers.

Recipe List

Pesto
Hazelnut or Walnut Pesto

Sun Dried Tomatoes for Pesto

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Lee's Pesto

Lee, author of Lee's Recipes2-3 peeled roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 cups nice fresh basil leaves, clean, gently towel dried, tough stems discarded
handful pinoli nuts*
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/8 - 1/4 cup grated Parmesan**
salt to taste not too much

For good pesto you must go to Genoa or learn to make it yourself. The secret is to not over process. Everything except garlic should be bitey rather than the mush they sell in deli departments.

Cut off some pieces of Parmesan and process in blender to grate nicely. Set aside.

Put garlic in food processor. Whirl briefly. Add pinoli. Whirl very briefly...like one twirl. Add basil and whirl briefly to chop into fairly large pieces. Now process briefly and pour oil through spout at same time. Stop often to check that it is not becoming mush. You are pulsing. Mix in your grated Parmesan cheese by hand.

Note: Proportions of oil, basil, garlic and pinoli can vary according to your taste. The technique of blending and the quality of nice fresh basil is what is important.

*buy pinoli (pine nuts in English) in bulk from MiddleEastern grocers or in Boston's North End NOT in jar$ from $upermarket$
**(buy in North End) or on sale in supermarket domestic ok (if imported get Reggiano)

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Low Fat Pesto

2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
2 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbs. light miso
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
2 Tbs. grated fatfree Parmesan - optional

In food processor, combine everything except water. Pulse till finely minced. With machine running, slowly add water until pesto reaches desired consistency.

(adapted from Vegetarian Times) Serves 6

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Artichoke Lemon Pesto

5 cooked artichoke hearts & bottoms
1/4 C toasted pine nuts
1-2 t lemon juice
3 cloves minced garlic
1-2 T olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
warm water

In food processor, combine everything except water. Pulse till finely minced. With machine running, slowly add warm water until pesto reaches desired consistency.

http://recipes.alastra.com/sauces/artichoke-pesto.html Yield 1 cup

Thai Coriander Pesto

[Thai] [Pesto] [Steak]

Adapted from Nongkran Daks

This tasty pesto is especially for Thai Steak with Coriander Pesto.

Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

5 coriander (cilantro) roots
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4 teaspoons neutral oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Wash coriander roots thoroughly.
  2. Combine in blender with garlic, peppercorns and oil, and process to make a thin paste.
  3. Add fish sauce and soy sauce.

Fresh Shiitake and Sage Pasta Sauce [Pesto] [Pasta]

Ingredients

Fresh Shiitake and Sage Pasta Sauce3 tablespoons melted ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
l/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 pound julienned shiitake mushrooms (about 1 1/2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth or soup stock
1 1/2 cups cream
1 tablespoon Sage Pesto (see above)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions
  1. In a large skillet, saute the shallots in ghee or oil very slowly for about 10 minutes. Do not let them brown.
  2. Add the shiitakes, salt and pepper and continue sauteing, stirring frequently Add the soup stock, a little at a time, as you saute.
  3. Pour in the cream and simmer gently until sauce is reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the tablespoon of Sage Pesto and the small amount of lemon juice. .
  5. Serve over hot fettucine.

Source: "Fresh Shiitake and Sage Pasta Sauce" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985,Page 46

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Sage Pesto

Sage PestoThe rich flavors of Sage Pesto, cream, and shiitake mushrooms make a delicious sauce for pasta or spaetzle.

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
  1. Combine the sage, parsley, garlic, cheese, and nuts in a food processor or blender. Process to mix. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.
  2. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to the desired consistency. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Variation

Use other nuts, such as almonds

Source: "Sage Pesto" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 21
on line at India Divine http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/vegetarian-forum/1305678-pestos-sage.html accessed May 6, 2012
Photo from Culinary Taste blog http://theculinarytaste.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/from-garden-to-kitchen-sage-pesto/

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Rosemary Pesto

Rosemary PestoAn intense, aromatic pesto. Use this pesto as a sauce or marinade base for vegetables, seafood and lamb.

Ingredients

1/3 cup fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, rough chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup walnuts ( or favorite nut variety)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Combine the rosemary, parsley, garlic, cheese, and nuts in a food processor or blender. Process to mix. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.
  2. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to the desired consistency. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Variation

Use almost any toasted nuts, such almonds, pine nuts, pecans or walnuts or even pistachio or hazelnuts.

Source: "Rosemary Pesto" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 20
on line at http://www.food.com/recipeprint.do?rid=307438 accessed May 7, 2012
Photo from Miss in the Kitchen blog http://www.missinthekitchen.com/2010/03/21/rosemary-pesto/

Winter Lemon Thyme Pesto

[Pesto] [Herbs] [Lee's Recipes]

About 1 cup
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

3 strips lemon peel, no white pith (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Mix lemon peel, parsley, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and pine nuts in blender.
  2. Process to mix. With blender running, add olive oil.
  3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to desired consistency.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Source: "Winter Lemon Thyme Pesto" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 33
online Chicago Tribune January 30, 1986 "Recipes Make A Case For Winter Pesto" by Andrea Wojack, Detroit News
at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-01-30/entertainment/8601080482_1_pesto-sauce-word-pesto-olive-oil accessed May 10, 2012

Baked Sole with Pesto Sauce

[Pesto] [Fish] [Herbs] [Lee's Recipes]

Four servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced green onions
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
Salt and pepper
1 pound sole fillets
1/2 cup winter lemon thyme pesto (or other pesto)
About 3 tablespoons half-and-half

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat butter and oil in saucepan; cook green onion and shallot for 2 minutes.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms begin to soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Layer half the sole fillets in lightly oiled, low-sided baking dish. Cover with green onions and mushrooms.
  4. Layer remaining sole fillets on top and cover with foil.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix pesto with enough cream to make a thick pourable sauce.
  7. Cover sole with pesto sauce, return to oven and bake uncovered until sauce is bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve hot.

Source: "Baked Sole with Pesto Sauce" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 106
online Chicago Tribune January 30, 1986 "Recipes Make A Case For Winter Pesto" by Andrea Wojack, Detroit News
at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-01-30/entertainment/8601080482_1_pesto-sauce-word-pesto-olive-oil accessed May 10, 2012

Winter Kale Pesto

[Pesto] [Fish] [Herbs] [Lee's Recipes]

About 1 1/4 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup chopped fresh kale, stems removed
1/2 cup dried basil
2 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Mix kale, basil, garlic, cheese and sunflower seeds in blender. Process to mix.
  2. With blender running, slowly add olive oil.
  3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to desired consistency.

Serving suggestion: Toss with a firm-textured whole wheat pasta and parmesan cheese.

Source: "Winter Kale Pesto" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 34
online Chicago Tribune January 30, 1986 "Recipes Make A Case For Winter Pesto" by Andrea Wojack, Detroit News
at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-01-30/entertainment/8601080482_1_pesto-sauce-word-pesto-olive-oil accessed May 10, 2012

[Pasta] [Pesto] [Nuts] [Herbs] [Vegetarian] [Favorites] [Italian] [Lee's Recipes]

Sage Walnut Pesto

A unique pesto made of sage, basil and walnuts is ideal with noodles, salad or vegetables.

Sage Walnut Pesto

Ingredients

1 portion pesto made with walnuts
4 tablespoons excellent quality virgin oil
1 big squeeze from 1⁄2 lime
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 fresh garlic cloves
1 pinch of dried wakame seaweed, reconstituted (optional)

Directions
  1. Place everything into a food processor or great blender and whirr until smooth. If you want your pesto thinner, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  2. Serve over vegetable noodles
Variation

Use other nuts, such as almonds

Source: Adapted from Living Nutz http://www.livingnutz.com/2011/09/living-nutz-sage-walnut-pesto/ accessed June 30, 2012
from ebook Raw Deal: A Journey through Raw & Living Food by Kathy Kravitz

 

 

Books and Blogs


Pesto Recipes from Dorothy Rankin:

  1. "Sage Pesto" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 21
    on line at India Divine http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/vegetarian-forum/1305678-pestos-sage.html
  2. "Sorrel Pesto with Lemon" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 23
  3. "Green Bean Sage Pesto Pasta Sauce" from Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin 1985, Page 54
    on line at India Divine http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/vegetarian-forum/1305680-pestos-green-bean-sage-pesto-pasta-sauce.html accessed May 6, 2012
  4. "Fresh Shiitake and Sage Pasta Sauce" Page 46
  5. "Fresh Pea and Mint Pesto" Rankin Page 47

Recipes from blogs or cookbooks:

  1. "Fresh Pea and Mint Pesto" from Closet Cooking blog accessed May 6, 2012 /li>
  2. "Mint-walnut pesto" Food and Style blog by Viviane http://foodandstyle.com/2009/06/27/mint-walnut-pesto/

 

About Pestos!: Cooking With Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin

"The ingredients may be few, but the result is bountiful. Learn how to make an array of pestos using such diverse herbs as cilantro, rosemary, mint, and lemon thyme. Then enjoy them year-round with more than 30 recipes like Fresh Pea and Mint Pesto Pasta, Red Pesto Ceviche, Tabbouleh with Basil Mint Pesto, and Pesto Frittata."

Pesto - you hear that magical word a lot in July and August but not usually in January. Pesto! Cooking with Herb Pastes by Dorothy Rankin (Crossing Press, $7.95), makes an excellent case for winter pesto-dried herb mixtures, moistened with oil and thickened with cheeses, which can be made in November or any month. True, the word pesto is used in the nonpurist sense in this book: Pesto aficionados will argue that only the freshest basil leaves of summer, as well as olive oil, sharp cheese, fresh garlic and pine nuts, make the jade green paste in its one real form. Herb pastes, however, can come in many forms, and if they do not have that characteristic summery aroma, they certainly lend an added dimension to any dish in which they appear. Once made and frozen or refrigerated, the author says, it is easy to add a tablespoon or two to a soup, sauteed vegetables or some other dish in progress. While pesto and pasta make a perfect combination, combined with the juices of meat or fish, pesto makes a marvelous basting sauce. With the addition of a little milk or cream, you have an elegant sauce for pasta, fish, chicken or vegetables. Rankin advises that in making winter pestos, it is crucial to use dried herbs that have a good, strong aroma and are free of woody stems. (Thyme, in particular, should be picked free of stems.) Dried herbs have a short shelf life, six months at most, and should be replenished frequently. The flavor of the winter pestos is very dependent on the quality of the dried herbs. This book is a wonderful guide to making herb pastes as well as to using them in all sorts of interesting dishes. This herb paste can be used effectively as a basting sauce for chicken or seafood. Combined with a little butter, Rankin says, it makes a delicious sauce for vegetables.
Source: Chicago Tribune January 30, 1986 "Recipes Make A Case For Winter Pesto" by Andrea Wojack, Detroit News
at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-01-30/entertainment/8601080482_1_pesto-sauce-word-pesto-olive-oil accessed May 10, 2012