How To Make Homemade Garden Herb Pesto - Chef's Notes

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Garden Herb Pesto

The herbs are blanched in this recipe, which helps preserve the bright green color of the pesto. In America, the term "pesto" traditionally refers to basil pesto. In Italian, pesto simply means “paste”. In this recipe, we suggest numerous different leafy green vegetables and herbs for making pesto. Get creative and try substituting different nuts or cheeses!

Makes 1 cup, total time:

  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (or substitute Swiss chard, Tuscan cabbage, parsley, mint, arugula,or cilantro)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia, or peanuts)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (or substitute pecorino, Asiago, dry Jack)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  1. Sauté the garlic in a small sauté pan over medium heat with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, stirring constantly until the garlic turns golden brown. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Place mixture in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and boil for 1 minute. Strain and cool in a bowl of ice water. Strain from the ice water and squeeze dry.
  3. Place the basil, cooled garlic/shallot mixture, pine nuts, Parmesan and salt into a blender. With the blender on high, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil is incorporated into the blender, let it run for 3 minutes to puree the ingredients.
  4. Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to a month.

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Pair with Our Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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