Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pesto Palooza!

on April 12, 2015

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It’s a meat free day today at my house. Anything you can spread on toasty bread, well, I’m just all about it. Pesto doesn’t have to be just basil anymore. Here I’ve made a roasted red pepper pesto, a pea with fresh mint pesto, an artichoke pesto, and a Kalamata olive with Cannellini bean pesto. I like to change it up, by using all types of different ingredients. For example; roasted red peppers, artichokes, peas, Cannellini beans, Kalamata olives, and Ricotta cheese mixed with fresh herbs. Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, fresh lemon juice, and a great extra virgin olive oil are key in making a great pesto. Let’s not forget about some crunch. A delicious pesto needs nuts. Traditionally pine nuts are what’s used, not today, it’s pistachios. I even used a variety of herbs like, basil, chives, mint, and Italian flat leaf parsley. I say let your imagination go wild!  Then spread it on a toasty little piece of bread. In the next section, I’m going to give my recipe for the roasted red pepper pesto. Recipes may vary a little from one type of pesto to another. I have found that basically it’s the consistency of the pesto that may be slightly different. Some may be thicker that others. I like to make mine with a thicker texture to the pesto. I do this by adding a little of the Cannellini beans to the mix.

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Equipment: Food Processor
Ingredients: example for, roasted red pepper pesto
7 ounce jar of drained roasted Piquillo peppers, or roasted red peppers
1/4 cup of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1/4 cup of Pistachios
1/4 cup of  grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 small clove of peeled garlic
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When I make any type of pesto, I start processing the nuts ( Pistachios) garlic and the herb of choice first. You can see this in the pictures above. Once this has been processed, I add in the main ingredients. In this case the  drained and rinsed roasted red peppers, Cannellini beans, fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt and pepper. Next through the feed tube at the top, I drizzle the E.V.O.O. in slowly. This will allow you to see the consistency of the pesto as it’s being processed, and you can adjust the amount accordingly. Lastly, I add in the grated cheese. The reason I do it this way, is so the cheese doesn’t get too hot from that blade doing all this processing and change the integrity of the cheese. I only pulse the cheese through the mix just until it’s mixed through. This is the method I use when making any type of pesto using whatever star ingredients that I may choose. I also want to mention, that my use of the Cannellini beans in these different types of pesto gives extra body to the pesto without changing the flavor.


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