Sometimes wonderful recipes happen by mistake. I didn’t have any pine nuts on hand, but discovered a full jar of hazelnuts in my pantry. I’ve been growing basil in pots that have really needed a good trimming so decided to make a Hazelnut Pesto. I’m going to use it on chicken breasts tonight for dinner and save the rest for a pasta dish later this weekend. Hazelnut Pesto is also great on bruschetta and roasted vegetables.
Basil is the most well-known pesto herbs, but many other herbs can be used to make different flavorful sauce combinations. The key is to use ample garlic and nuts, and cut the richness with an acid like lemon juice.
I absolutely LOVE macadamia nuts and have never been that wild about pine nuts so I decided to try making pesto with macadamia nuts instead. This pesto turned out to be the best pesto I’ve ever tasted. You can use it in pasta dishes or anything that you would make with regular pesto. I grilled brined pork chops and garnished them with a dollop of my Macadamia Nut Pesto.
3 Garlic Cloves
2 1/2 Cups Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Whole Macadamia Nuts
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 Cup Grated Romano, Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
You will need a heavy duty blender or food processor for this recipe. Wash and dry the fresh basil leaves. You will want to make sure to get any dirt and grit off of them. Add the garlic, basil leaves and macadamia nuts to your blender or food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are coarse. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse until nice and smooth. Transfer to a storage container with a tight lid. Right before you are going to use the pesto mix in the grated cheese. Makes about 1 cup
Don’t know what to do with all of these wonderful summer vegetables? Here is a Pesto that you can make all year round. Delicious!
10 Ounces Organic Cooked Peas
2 Ounces Fresh Basil Leaves
10 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Toasted Pistachios
You may use either organic fresh peas or frozen for this recipe. Mix all of the ingredients in either a blender or food processor and puree. Makes about 2 cups. Last night I tossed this pesto with 3 cups of cavatelli pasta (al dente) and it was excellent. Serves 4
No cooking is required for this delightfully healthful dish!
2 Large Juicy Ripe Tomatoes
3 Handfuls of Fresh Basil Leaves
6 Garlic Cloves
½ Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Parmesan Cheese To Garnish
Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cheese, in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour over fresh, hot spaghetti or your favorite pasta that is cooked al dente. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Pesto Rosso (red pesto) is a Sicilian red sauce made out of sun dried tomatoes and is also called Pesto alla Siciliana. This sauce is great on pasta as well as bruschetta. Serve with seafood or poultry. Pesto Rosso is definitely a very versatile sauce.
1/3 Cup Chopped Water Packed Sun Dried Tomatoes (Drained)
2 Garlic Cloves
6 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Garlic Clove
1 C up Fresh Basil Leaves
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
In a medium size sauce pan add the drained sun dried tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic and 6 basil leaves. Cover with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand for 25 minutes. In a food processor or a blender place 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil, 1 garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture resembles a paste. Next, drain the tomato mixture and add to the food processor and finely chop. The sauce is now ready to use. If you are using as a pasta sauce you may want to thin the sauce with ½ cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta. Serves 4