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 grilled bread. Pesto doesn’t have to be just basil anymore. Here I’ve made a roasted Piquillo 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, or 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 the nuts. For added flavor and texture 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 grilled bread.

In the next section, I’m going to give my recipe for the Roasted Red Pepper Pesto. Recipes may vary from one type of pesto to another. I’ve found basically, it’s the consistency of the pesto that may be slightly different. Some may be thicker than others. I like to make mine with a slightly thicker consistency. I do this by adding a small amount of the Cannellini beans to the mix.

2015-04-12 12.57.432015-04-12 14.57.06 2015-04-12 15.08.20

Equipment: Food Processor

Ingredients For Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto
7-ounce jar of drained roasted Piquillo peppers, (If you can’t find Piquillo peppers, substitute 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 *E.V.O.O.

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, add in the main ingredients. In this case, the drained and rinsed roasted Piquillo peppers, Cannellini beans, fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper. Next, through the feed tube, at the top, drizzle in the E.V.O.O. slowly. This will allow you to see the consistency of the pesto as it’s being processed, and you can adjust the amount accordingly.

Last, 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 you 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.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.


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