Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lemon Basil Pesto

Pesto has to be one of the easiest things to make.  I hit the local Farmer's Market and pick up whatever looks and smells delicious.  I first learned how to prepare Pesto in a class in Spain.  The teacher used parsley, basil, hazelnuts, parmesan and garlic.  She had us combine the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.

There was some wonderfully fragrant lemon basil at the Farmer's Market on Saturday.  I also picked up cilantro, flat leaf Italian parsley and fresh garlic that had scapes.  I combined these ingredients along with lemon zest, fresh squeezed lemon juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.

You don't have to measure anything - just toss it all in the cuisinart (I don't have a mortar and pestle).  I went easy on the cilantro - a little goes a long way.  Instead of hazelnuts I used mixed nuts - I had a can in the cupboard.  My first attempt came up kind of soupy, but that's the great thing about pesto - just toss in more basil and parsley until you have the consistency that you want.

The pesto was delicious on the chilled tomato soup.  The next night I had rigatoni.  I
sautéed sliced cherry tomatoes and garlic and combined the pasta, pesto, parmesan and lemon juice in the sautée pan along with some of the pasta water.  It was delicious!

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