Thursday, July 12, 2012

Preserving Summer Produce, Part 3: Pesto

Spinach. It comes is big bags or bunches and it is a pretty sturdy green; meaning it lasts a pretty long time in the fridge. But I was headed out of town and wasn't going to chance it over 3 days, so I decided to save it by making a pesto.

First I tried to puree it in my blender. But I failed. Nothing happened. If only I had a Vitamix...

So I transferred everything to my food processor and added pecans. The pecans I store in my freezer to prevent from going rancid. You should store all of your nuts in the freezer if you can. They last a really long time that way.
Then I blended it to a pulp. Literally. I added olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. I should have added a little bit of lemon juice to keep it from turning brown, but I didn't have a lemon. So it turned a little dark green on the top after a day in the fridge.

When I got back from my weekend away, I cooked up some pasta and tossed in the pesto that I stored in a mason jar. It's nutty and fresh and cheesy. It made for a nice easy lunch at home.

Tonight we are enjoying the pesto on a pizza in place of tomato sauce. Bon appetit!

Spinach, Arugula, or Basil Pesto
1 bunch or 4 cups fresh spinach, arugula, or basil, roughly chopped
1/8 cup nuts (I've used pine nuts, pecans, or walnuts), roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1tsp lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Put greens in a food processor or a really powerful blender (mine did not perform for me). Add pecans and blend until well pureed. Then add parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice. Blend and taste. Add salt & pepper as you like. Store in an air tight container or jar for up to 2 weeks. If you freeze it, it keeps for just about forever.

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