Basil, Sun Dried Tomato & Hazelnut Pesto

One of my favourite things in the world, the food world that is, is basil. It is so versatile, easy to grow in the garden and lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. For these reasons and more, it is pretty much one of my top five favourite herbs list.

I scoured my cookbook collection and the internet looking for inspiration and some basic pesto guidelines. What I discovered is, that basically, the sky is the limit. Ingredients, measurements, and techniques all varied from recipe to recipe. Very loosey goosey, I might say but another example of why cooking is fun.

Category:  Sauces, Dressings & Dips  - 
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Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Recipe

  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes. I used the kind you reconstitute with hot water, but you could also use the ones packed in olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts.
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup good quality Parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil - enough to blend your ingredients together

Basil, Sun Dried Tomato & Hazelnut Pesto Directions

  1. The only real preparation for this recipe is toasting the hazelnuts. I did this in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I also had to rinse and dry the spinach and basil.
  2. After that, simply pop all the ingredients, except the olive oil, into the food processor and roughly chop them up. Then, while blending, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is the consistency you like.
  3.  The Results:
    Any recipe, whether you get it from a fellow blogger, online or your favourite cookbook, can almost always be tweaked to your personal taste. If you change this in any way - let me know! I enjoy seeing people take on things.
  4. For me, I loved the earthy colour and the rich flavour the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach brought to the pesto. I do not like things too oily, so for some the final consistency may be too "spread-like" but was perfect for me. I will definitely make it again especially because once the pesto is done it is easy to use in many different ways.

    Fusilli Lunghi Bucati Con Pesto:
    I simply cooked up the pasta, reserved some of the cooking water, then tossed the pasta, the water and some pesto together. I put it on a bed of spinach, sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on and called it a day.
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  8. Grilled Chicken Marinated with Pesto:
    I coated boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the pesto and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. I then cooked them on a gas grill. The pesto added a gorgeous colour to the chicken. It turned out tender, juicy, and incredibly flavourful.
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  12. Pesto Crostini:
    This one is pretty self explanatory, no?
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  16. Enjoy one, enjoy them all!!!
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