pecan and basil pesto

★★★★★ 3 Reviews
heidicookssupper avatar
By Heidi Hoerman
from Columbia, SC

Pesto is very easy to make if you have blender or a food processor. Classic pesto is basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil but you can make a pesto of any similar mix of ingredients. 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.

serves Makes about 2 cups
prep time 20 Min

Ingredients For pecan and basil pesto

  • 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

How To Make pecan and basil pesto

  • 1
    Place 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.
  • 2
    Add the pecans and blend briefly, leaving small bits of pecans visible.
  • 3
    Refrigerate 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.
  • 4
    SERVING 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.

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