Citrus Basil Pesto adds lemon and tangerine olive oil to the basic pesto recipe. The additional of citrus makes it bright fresh, and healthy.
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Remember I told you that I bought a herb planter a couple of weeks ago at the Farmer’s Market? The planter has parsley, basil, oregano and thyme. The basil is really taken off, so I thought I would make fresh basil pesto.
Pesto is fairly simple to make with just a few ingredients ~ basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, olive oil and salt and pepper. Citrus (lemon and tangerine) is not typical in pesto, but I like to add it for a freshness. If you can’t find tangerine EVOO, you can substitute lemon or orange EVOO or use regular olive oil and add both lemon and orange juice.
However, you do need a food processor. If you are in the market for one, I love my Breville food processor. It is a beautiful machine, sleek silver and coal black. It is a powerhouse for slicing and shredding with a 1200-watt induction motor. The lid is a slide lock system and has a very wide feeding chute. It has three blades (Micro-serrated S blade, Dough blade and Mini processing blade), 5 discs (Adjustable Slicing Disc, Shredding and Grating Disc, Julienne Disc, Emulsifying Disc and French Fry and Vegetable Stick Disc), One Mini Bowl, a disc spindle, small brush and spatula, instruction booklet (with a few recipes) and storage container. All bowls and attachments are BPA free.
Cleanup is a breeze, although it does have to hand washed, and there are no issues with food being trapped in the lid seal.
Now that you know all about my food processor and the one I recommend, let’s get back to this citrus basil pesto. I like to make a big batch, even if I’m not going to use all of it. If not using all of the pesto, I put the remaining pesto in mason jars and freeze them.
Pesto is so versatile. You can use it on vegetables, pasta, fish, poultry. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a recipe that I made using zucchini noodles.
Citrus Basil Pesto (A printable version is at end of post)
Yields approximately 2 cups
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, peeled
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/2 plain and 1/2 tangerine EVOO)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor
Combine the basil, pine nuts and half of the cheese and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic and lemon juice, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Pour into a bowl. Add remaining cheese and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- juice from ½ lemon (optional)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (I used ½ plain and ½ tangerine EVOO)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the basil, pine nuts and half of the cheese and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic and lemon juice, pulse a few times more.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Pour into a bowl. Add remaining cheese and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.