Fresh herbs are in season and abundant in our area right now so take advantage of these nearly calorie free, nutritious, flavor-packed edible plants b...
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 cups loosely packed basil
- ¼ cup fresh oregano
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup grated Lovera’s Toma cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
In a food processor, we like to grind the nuts first, add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, adding the oil last in a slow, steady stream. Feel free to adjust the amount of olive oil for your intended use.
To blanch or not to blanch: You might choose to blanch your herbs to preserve their bright green color. If you plan to use the pesto right away, we don’t think blanching is necessary. If you plan on making it for future use, blanch away. The flavor isn’t affected either way.
Pesto will keep well for up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer. If making a pesto using green herbs, top it with a heavy layer of olive oil before storing to help preserve that gorgeous green color.
To preserve herbs for later use, simply chop them, mix with a generous amount of olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Pop them out as needed throughout the year to use in sautés, swirl in soups, for bread dipping, on roast meats and any number of other herby uses.
We especially love pesto on roasted corn and made our own “elote” corn by smearing it with pesto rouge and sprinkling with local feta. To roast the corn, soak whole unshucked ears in cool water for about an hour then place directly into charcoal embers for about 10–15 minutes, until husks are well blackened.