Knock knock knock.
As summer wanes and fall begins my basil bushes are saying farewell. Which means I have to seize the opportunity to make and put away some pesto or be sad about the lack of basil later in the winter.
Now you know I am not going to just sling together a regular pesto sauce. All pesto is delicious, that’s a given. But I thought about how interesting it would be to use pecans and pine nuts and add a citrus twist. Make it earthy. Make it bright. So I offer my Texas Pesto – given that pecans and Texas go hand in hand and that lemons grow here in my yard.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3/4 cup shaved or grated good parmesan cheese (it should not come from a green can)
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley
- zest of a small lemon
- juice of half a small lemon
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp salt (I used Himalayan for earthiness today)
- 3/4 cup good quality olive oil
This will come together pretty quickly.
Preheat the oven to 350. Put foil down on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and spread the pecans and pine nuts evenly. Put them in the hot oven for 5-7 minutes. You’ll be able to ever so slightly smell them. Allow them to cool or they’ll turn your herbs brown as mud.
Take your food processor and put the blade in the bottom of the bowl. Process the garlic cloves, salt and lemon zest until it’s good and loose. Add the nuts and cheese. Process a little further. Scrape down the bowl if needed. Add all the herbs and the lemon juice on top. The citric acid will help alleviate the browning from bruising the herbs. Pulse a few times. Then process while adding the oil incrementally through the feed tube. Once it’s nice and smooth you’re done. It’ll look like pesto sauce. Haha.
The distinguishing factor in this recipe is the nutty delicious pecan and the addition of the lemon. It will be simultaneously earthier and brighter than regular pesto.
This will make about a cup to a cup and a half. If you want to freeze it put it in a properly sized plastic container or jar and pour a whimper of olive oil over the top. Pop it in the freezer and use when you’re good and ready.