Episode 66: Seasonal Pesto.
Seasonal variations on pesto offer variety and can change simple foods into delicious meals with fantastic flavor. In the podcast we talk about seasonal variations and the right way to wrap in the modern conveniences of food processors or high speed blenders.
Once you’ve learned to make pesto, the possibilities are endless! In summer, when gardens are abundant with basil, it’s easy do. Toss your fresh pesto with hot pasta and magic happens. But there’s so much more you can do with pesto than use it as a sauce for pasta. In summer, it’s the perfect condiment for everything from cheese crostini to garden bruschetta.
When the seasons change, it’s not hard to change up the ingredients to create a seasonal pesto, like a walnut-parsley pesto that’s terrific with gnocchi or sturdy noodles, like buccatini. Or try a kale and cashew pesto for a different flavor (and vegan friendly). Any of these versions are great to layer in flavor on roasted vegetable sandwiches, or better yet make a roasted squash pesto and use that as a filling for a sandwich! Of course, any of these pestos are a terrific condiment to roasted meats, or grilled chicken or fish.
The French cousin to pesto – pistou, traditionally finishes Minestrone soup. And, Spain’s romesco takes a lot of liberties with ingredients, but the end result is the same, a highly fragrant, lusciously thick sauce, that can be the starting point for a party, or a finishing sauce for a meal.
With all this flavor wrapped into a handful of ingredients that you pound and blend together in a matter of minutes, it’s not hard to understand why pesto – in so many variations is popping up in recipes, and our favorite restaurants. It’s a condiment and a sauce, and a boost of flavor to whatever you put it on or mix it into. Full on, delicious flavor is just waiting for you! We’ve got some terrific recipes you can try on nowthatsamouthful.com. Just look on our Recipes page, under the condiments tab. Or, try the featured recipes we talk about in our blog-cast. You’ll be making perfect pesto any season of the year.
Chef Donna’s one thing to learn from this episode: Pesto sauces are as easy as grabbing a handful of whatever seasonal nuts and vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Tear, pound smear those ingredients together on your cutting board with herbs, garlic and cheese until they’re soft and creamy before using your food processor to mix in the olive oil.
Just commit to the idea of trying this… and we’ll get you the rest of the way there with these great recipes to get you started.
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