Variations on Pesto
Hi food loving friends,
I have a ton of basil and I want to start "putting it up". I am planning on making this weekend a "pesto" weekend.
Does anyone have any great recipes for variations on the classic basil pesto (still using basil)?
What are your favorites?
perhaps instead of pesto, make a "chimmichurri" except using basil instead of parsley/cilantro.
and not really a new take on pesto, but what i love using pesto for using as a spread on panini sandwhiches. ham and salami, your favorite cheese, tomato, and plenty of pesto. put in in a grill pan or panini press. exclellent quick lunch.
pistachio is one of my favorite variations, but i see the others beat me to it!
some other additions i like to use to put a new twist on it:
- olives (green or black depending on your preference)
- sun-dried tomatoes
- wild mushrooms
- preserved lemon
- artichoke hearts
you can also substitute arugula or parsley for part of the basil to add a hint of bitterness.
I made this pistachio pesto using basil instead of mint. It was fantastic and so unusual: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
You can also throw olive oil and basil into the food processor and freeze the basil oil in ice cube trays to add a bit of summer to dinner later in the winter.
I was reading a post on Elizabeth Minchilli's blog a couple of months ago and she posted a recipe for "Sicilian Pesto". I had never heard of such a thing (and my mother's side is Sicilian). It sounded delicious - basil, garlic, almonds, tomatoes & pecorino romano cheese. Wow! Well, I made it and it was ridiculously easy and my family and I fell in love. Here is a link to Minchilli's recipe:
And here is a spin on Sicilian pesto done by Mario Batali... with the addition of mint and peppers to spice it up. I haven't made this one yet, but I want to:
Yummm, Buon appetito!
I actually prefer this version to Genovese!
I think the reason many people here of Sicilian heritage haven't heard of it is that it's a very local dish from the northwest of Sicily. It's also known as pesto all'ericiana, Erice being the hill town towering over Trapani. The almonds should be toasted, and a pinch of hot pepper is appropriate in this one. And you can mix the pecorino right in.