Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bruised Pesto

The basil is really doing well this year, which allows me to whip up many variations of pesto. Here is one that involves an extra step of bruising the basil leaves. The science is that this releases the oils from the basil -- the reality is that this does indeed taste richer than a pesto made without this step!

Bruised Pesto
Cook's Illustrated

1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 c basil leaves, packed
2 T parsley
7 T olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Toast the nuts in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently. Toast just until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Add garlic to the empty skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color deepens - about 7 minutes.

Let the garlic cool slightly. Then peel and chop.

Place basil and parsley in a ziploc bag and pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until all leaves are bruised. This will help release the oil into the pesto.

Process nuts, garlic, herbs, oil and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until smooth. Scrape the bowl as needed. Process for about 1 minute. Stir in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Farm box ingredients used: basil, garlic 

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