Let’s Have a Pesto Party!

Pesto 8 Ways
 
 
Pesto. Yet another, albeit, surprising Italian Indian crossover. Basil, an herb that originated from India over 5000 years ago, is the main ingredient in classic pesto recipes. Pesto comes from Genoa in Italy where the ancient Romans used to eat a paste made of garlic, cheese and herbs although the first recorded recipe was recorded in 1863 in the book “La Cucuniera Genovese” written by Giovanni Battista Ratto and was later adapted in Provence to what we call pistou. 
 
Below is a glimpse of what can be done with a small combination of beautifully fresh ingredients. The flavours are bright and strong and can refresh pasta, meat, vegetable and fish dishes no matter the occasion. In a pinch, grill up some fresh bread and serve your favourite one as a dip to brighten up a lacklustre cocktail hour!
 



 
Method
 
All recipes yield approximately 1 1/2 cups.
In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients except olive oil and parmesan. Pulse ingredients until chopped very fine. With processor running, drizzle in olive oil until the mixture is thick and smooth. Scrape pesto into a bowl and stir in parmesan. Pesto will keep for 2 weeks, covered in the fridge or can be frozen in airtight containers.

 

 
 
Classic Basil Pesto

 

 
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
 
Cilantro Pesto
 
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup italian flat leaf parsley 
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
 
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
 
1 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (with the oil)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
 
Pistachio Pesto
 
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup toasted pistachios (shelled)
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 
 
Arugula and Walnut pesto

 

 
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 cups fresh baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
 
Green Onion Caper Pesto
 
1 large garlic clove, peeled
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley 
1 tsp capers
1 tablespoons lemon juice 
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 
 
Almond Mint Pesto
 
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh italian flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted almonds
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
 
 
Pea and Spinach Pesto 
 

 

2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

1/4 cup parmesan cheese