Pecan and Basil Pesto
This pesto uses pecans and leaves out the cheese, giving the option of using it as a cooking sauce and adding the cheese separately to the resulting dish.
The addition of lemon juice adds brightness but only a very mild lemon flavor remains when the pesto is cooked.
This pesto is best when allowed to cook for a minute or two in the dish being served.
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- 2 c
- fresh basil leaves, removed from the stems and washed
- 6 clove
- garlic, peeled
- 1/2 to 3/4 c
- olive oil, extra virgin
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp
- coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 c
- pecan halves or pieces
1Place basil, garlic, 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until somewhat smooth. Force down the leaves and add more olive oil as needed to enable creation of a sauce about the consistency of a good, thick ketchup.
2Add the pecans and blend briefly, leaving small bits of pecans visible.
3Refrigerate or freeze. In its raw state, the pesto is quite harsh tasting. Add it to a dish a few minutes before you are done cooking.
4SERVING SUGGESTION: Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and saute sliced summer squash or zucchini until turning translucent but still firm. Add the pesto and pasta to the squash and saute about 2 minutes until the pesto is cooked a bit. Serve with freshly grated hard cheese (parmesan, romano, etc.) on top.