I was going to present the following pesto recipes for a cooking demonstration tomorrow for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC but it was canceled due to a lack of people signing up for the event. One can sign up for all of the cooking demonstrations through the Winnipeg Leisure Guide and are also found on the Assiniboine Park Conservancy website: http://www.assiniboinepark.ca
1. Basil Pesto on Escargot
Serve the following pesto spooned onto escargot and bake for 8-10 minutes.
A basic Pesto recipe is so easy to adapt to many available herbs. I love Arugula Pesto as well. For Arugula, use some spinach in the mix to round out the flavour of any particularly peppery variety as well as a splash of lemon juice. For Basil Pesto, I like to use Sweet, Vietnamese, Purple, and many other varieties in the mix to make a complex flavour.
1/4 lb fresh basil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (can use almonds)
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
1/3 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper (cheese is salty so use very little salt)
Blend together into a paste. Freeze for later use or toss in pasta, on grilled meats, etc.
2. Pea Shoot Pesto on Arctic Char
1/4 lb fresh, young pea shoots
1 bunch chives, chopped (or spring onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds)
Place the pea shoots, chives, garlic, cheese, olive oil, pine nuts salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms.
Spoon over Arctic Char fillet and bake at 350ºF for 10 - 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
3. Garlic Scape Pesto served on pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 lb. scapes
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Puree scapes and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and lime or lemon juice and season to taste.
4. Sundried Tomato Pesto on crostini
1 cup sundried tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
½ cup almonds or pine nuts (can also use walnuts)
½ cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese
Blend all ingredients together and spread on crostini. Toast until bubbly. Enjoy! Can be used on pasta or in other dishes.