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August 15, 2003 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ANNABEL COHEN
Special to the Jewish News

ro

1/4 cup olive oil
Warm water as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingre-
dients and pulse until smooth, 'out not a paste.
Adjust seasonings and pulse again to mix. Makes 2
cups.

esto is a culinary darling. Think of it as
ketchup for gourmets โ€” the perfect
condiment on just about any food.
Tossed with hot, fresh pasta it's the cele-
brated pesto pasta. Whisked into a vinaigrette, simple
tomato sauce or mayonnaise, it's a transformer, turn-
ing the mere ordinary into a connoisseur's dream
dressing and sauce. Spread over a fresh fish fillet or
over rounds of French bread, you need add nothing
more. Just bake or roast.for deliciousness.
The original pesto, the ground, technicolor-green
blend, is Italian in origin. A shortened version of the
word pestaturtz, one the first pestos was a likely a mix-
ture of herb leaves, salt and olive oil, mashed in a
mortar with a pestle or "pestellu,โ€ in Italian. The
pesto most sold commercially is the model we most
often think ofโ€” fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine
nuts and grated Parmesan cheese.
By definition, however, a pesto can be prepared
with, well, just about anything. Consider the pesto
recipes below, each with a different focus and combi-
nation of flavors.
The following 10 pestos include everything from
dill, parsley and mint to cilantro and arugula and
include many kinds of nuts โ€” ranging from pecans
to cashews. Not to mention many different varieties
of cheeses.
Keep in mind, too, that pesto should most often
be used at the last minute, with the exception of
dressings, mayonnaise and marinades. Leafy herbs
tend to turn black if cooked for long periods of time.
If you make a lot and use just a little, freeze the rest,
in small jars or zipper bags or, as many cooks do, in
ice cube trays, adding a cube here and there as needed.
Another tip involves the actual preparation of
pesto. Though the word sounds like the English
word paste, pesto should never actually become a
paste. The sauce should be ground, but not pureed
until absolutely smooth.
The best aspect of pesto is its ease in preparation.
Few ingredients and simple one-step instructions will
make pesto a pantry staple, always there to perk-up
any dish.

ARUGULA PECAN ROMANO PESTO

BASIC PESTO
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
cheese
6 cloves of garlic, or more to taste

Whisk flour in medium saucepan over medium-
high heat. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a
time, adding more as the mixture thickens. Keep
whisking and heating until the mixture is of a
smooth, heavy cream or slightly thicker consistency.
Stir in the nutmeg and prepared pesto and heat

TEXMFX CILANTRO CASHEW PESTO

This is also an unusual topping for a baked potato.
Leave out the cheese and it makes a wonderful mari-
nade for chicken.

1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and small
stems
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
4 cloves of garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup cashews, lightly toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fine shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
or Queso Blanco, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend together all ingredients
with salt and pepper to taste until smooth but not a
paste. Makes 1 cup.

Slightly bitter, the flavors are wonderful tossed with
drained canned tuna and served over mixed salad
greens.

6 cups packed arugula leaves and thin stems
6 cloves of garlic, or more to taste
1 cup pecan halves or pieces, lightly toasted
1 cup fresh grated Romano cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingre-
dients and pulse until smooth, but not a paste.
Adjust seasonings and pulse again to mix. Makes 2
cups.

LOWFAT PESTO ALFREDO SAUCE

Tossed with fettucine, this makes a nice lowfat alter-
native to regular fettucine alfredo.

6 T. all purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 cup prepared pesto, recipe above
Salt and pepper to taste

through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and keep
warm until ready to use. Makes 3 cups of sauce, or
enough for about 1 pound of pasta.

LEMON PARSLEY PESTO

Perfect for a side dish tossed with angel hair pasta
and white beans.

4 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
cheese
4-6 doves of garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingre-
dients and pulse until smooth, but not a paste.
Adjust seasonings and pulse again to mix. Makes 1
1/2 cups.

ARTICHOKE PESTO

Serve this as a dip for fresh-cut vegetables or mixed
thinned with water to use as salad dressing.

1 can (about 14-15 ounces) artichoke hearts,
drained
4 cloves of garlic, or more to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingre-
dients and pulse until smooth, but not a paste.
Adjust seasonings and pulse again to mix. Makes 1
1/2 cups.

BASIL AND SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO

-

Great spread over a round of brie and baked at
3000F for 30 minutes. Serve with crackers as a
spread.

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
112 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano
cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingre-
dients and pulse until smooth, but not a paste.
Adjust seasonings and pulse again to mix. Makes 1
112 cups.

PESTO PRESTO

on page 74

8/15
2003

73

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