Recipe: Blanched Basil Pesto
Summary: From Chef Michael Chiarello’s book Bottega
- 3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (see Chef’s note at bottom)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. fine salt, preferably ground sea or gray salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. powdered ascorbic acid
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Set up a large bowl of ice water.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
- Place the basil and parsley leaves in a sieve or colander that fits inside the pan. Lower the sieve full of herbs into the boiling water, and use a spoon to push the leaves under so the herbs cook evenly.
- Blanch for 15 seconds, then transfer the sieve to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let the herbs cool in the ice bath for 10 seconds.
- Remove the sieve, let drain, and then squeeze any water from the herbs. Transfer them to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
- In a blender, purée the herbs with the oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper and ascorbic acid until well-blended and somewhat smooth.
- Add the cheese and whir for 1 second or so to mix.
- Transfer the pesto to a bowl; taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Press plastic wrap directly on top of the pesto to keep it from turning brown and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for it for up to 1 month.
Chef’s note: Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over low heat, shaking the pan frequently. Heat for just 1 to 2 minutes; as soon as you smell the fragrance of the pine nuts, slide the nuts out of the pan and onto a plate so they don’t burn.
Recipe and courtesy of: SauceMagazine.com
Photo courtesy of: CafeFernando.com