Friday, June 19, 2009

Texas Pecan Pesto.

My brother came up with the name for this while drinking a lone star beer. Go figure.

For some reason or another basil grows really well in Texas, despite the heat. An important aspect of basil maintenance is cutting back the plant before it flowers so that it continues to grow fully and doesn’t get bitter. The draw back with this pruning is that you are left with a ton of basil, more then you can usually use to spice up one meal. After you have had your fill of garnishing salads, and topping bruschetta, give this recipe a try.

2 cups fresh basil
Olive Oil
½ cup parmesan or Romano cheese
½ cup pecans
4 medium sized garlic cloves, minced.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Official recipe for any pesto.
Combine Basil garlic and nuts (traditionally pine nuts) in a food processor, pulse several times slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture while blending. Add cheese and blend together.


My recipe.
Throw basil, Pecans, Garlic and a half a cup of olive oil into a food processor or blender and mix together. Remove from mixing device, add cheese, and more olive oil, as much as you like, and stir together until pesto has reached desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and throw some lemon in if you think it needs an extra kick.

A food processor is probably best for this recipe, but I didn’t have one, so I just used a blender, which I found to work just fine, although I had to dig the blended part out and push the non blended part to the bottom myself, which I wouldn’t have had to do with a processor I’m thinking. The half a cup of olive oil that goes in the blender is mainly to keep everything moving and from sticking to the blender insides, although there will still be some of that.

I also found that using already chopped pecans made life easy also, cause you can in theory leave it all to the end and just mix in with the basil mush after it is out of the blender. I put half in the blender and mixed half in later. It seemed like having the nuts in the blender helped the mixture move better.

So how does putting pecans in pesto make it “Texas?” Well, it adds a taste that other nuts seem to be lacking. You can also use pesto in ways other then just Italian spaghetti. You can use it in pasta salad, an awesome pick nick staple. Its also good on baked potatos, tortillas, and as a dip for chips.

Helpful tip- if you don’t want to eat a ton of pesto all at once you can freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray if you leave the cheese out and add it later.

Until next time.

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