|Come back sun! This is what my perfect little neighborhood is supposed to be like in May|
|It may not look pretty now but it was delicious. Cilanto pesto over chicken legs|
The Pesto Formula
Herbs and Vegetables: basil, parsley, cilantro, arugula, spinach, broccoli rabe, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, peas, fiddlehead ferns, mint, roasted poblanos or bell peppers. Really you are limited only by your imagination here.
Oil: Pretty basic olive oil, but you want it to be a pretty good quality.
Nut: Traditionally a pine nut, but as these are expensive I like to use walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, even seeds like pepitas or sunflower. For a nice health kick, toast up some flaxseeds and add those as well. Flaxseeds are best consumed when they're ground to bring out the oils
Cheese: This can be optional, but traditionally it's hard sharp cheese like Parmesan. However, I've made it with every kind from manchego to ricotta. Even smoked cheddar or a sharp goat cheese could be lovely. Once again, just use your imagination and experiment
Aromatic: garlic, roasted garlic, onion, ramp, green onions, shallots, crushed red pepper, oregano, marjoram, aji paste, horseradish
Miscellaneous: Red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, mirin, soy sauce
Cilantro Manchego Pesto
1 c. cilantro leaves
1 c. parsley leaves
1/4 c. grated manchego
1/4 c. toasted walnuts
1/4 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1. Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic, cheese, vinegar and walnuts in the food processor and grate to combine. Drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream while processor is running. Taste and add salt/pepper as necessary. Pesto can be used right away, or kept for about 2 weeks in the fridge. Frozen it lasts about 3 months.
Tip for individual freezing: If you have an extra ice tray, freeze in individual ice cube trays, seal in a plastic bag and then take out a cube as needed. 1 cube should =1 serving depending on the size of the tray.