Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Easy Citrus Pesto

I love pesto. It's easy and yields a lot of flavor for a minimal amount of effort (unlike artichokes-- again, more on those later). I especially love it because you don't have to be exacting and you can use all kinds of different substitutions and additions. No cooking; just blending. I made it as a sauce to top the flank steak we served for our "Italian Summer" dinner party.

Here's how it went down. I purchased some small basil plants and pinched off about a cup of the larger leaves;

...peeled two large cloves of garlic and put them, along with the basil and some nuts--which in this case was walnuts (a great substitution for the traditional pine nuts)--into the food processor and gave a few good pulses until well-minced.

Then I drizzled in about a half a cup of olive oil, but drizzle in as much or little as you want, while blending it all on low. The consistency should be that of pancake batter.

Then I poured in the juice of half a lemon and about a 1/2 tsp of lemon zest, still blending. After it was well incorporated, I poured the mixture into a bowl. Then I added in grated Parmegiano, stirring with a fork. It results in a thicker, more textured sauce.

Voila! Easy citrus pesto. Serve at room temperature.

Oh yeah, what was left of the basil plants, I put in our potted garden to use later.

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