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Anything Pesto!

January 27, 2019

Anything Pesto!

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Plus a Yummy Pesto Chicken Pizza

Anything pesto? What do you mean by that Eliza?

I’ll tell you! If you are already a pesto aficionado, then you already know that pesto gets a lot of hype but is actually ultra simple at its core. Combine greens and/or basil with nuts, cheese and oil. Voila! Pesto!

Basil

This summer I found myself with a continuous abundance of herbs and greens, and didn’t feel I could eat enough salad. My answer to this was to make pesto!

Mike is a massive pesto lover and pesto freezes easily so I figured why not just go to town on all these greens and we’d have pesto right through the winter. Of course we got through a large chunk of it before I came to my senses and realized we needed to save it a bit. And as of writing this post (January) We still have plenty of the stash!

Pesto Recipe

Some of the greens I worked with (and suggest you do as well) were Garlic Scapes, Arugula, Radish Greens, Carrot Tops, Fennel Fronds, Spinach, Kale and of course Basil. This meant our selection of pestos was vast! It also meant I got to experiment with different greens/nuts combinations. Some of my favourites were:

  • Radish Tops + Walnuts
  • Arugula + Pistachios
  • Fennel Fronds + Pecans
  • Basil + Roasted Garlic + Almonds
Radishes

I suggest you try out as many combos as you like to find the ones you like the best. Just use the same amounts I’ve listed below for nuts and greens, and also feel free to use multiple greens. Adding in extra fresh herbs never hurts either.

Other then pasta, one of our favourite uses for pesto is on pizzas, so I’ve also included a recipe for a super tasty Chicken Pesto Pizza. Click Here for the pizza dough recipe.

Basic Pesto

Make this recipe with whichever greens and nuts you have on hand.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 cup Basil (Arugula, Radish, Mizuna, Kale, Spinach or combination of any works well too!)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup Toasted Pine Nuts (Almonds, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios are good too)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil, plus more if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice and Zest of 1/2 a lemon (or to Taste)

Instructions

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor, and blend until almost smooth. Add more Olive oil as needed to reach desired consistency. Finish by adding Salt, Pepper and Lemon to your tastes. Store in the fridge. This recipe also freezes very well.
Chicken Pesto Pizza

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Recipe of Basic Pizza Dough (Recipe linked Above)
  • 1 Recipe Anything Pesto (or Store bought)
  • 1 Whole Roasted or Grilled Chicken, Meat Shredded
  • Seeds of 1/2 a Pomegranate
  • 50 g -150g crumbly goat cheese (This is dependent on how many pizzas you're making/ How much cheese you want to eat.)
  • Good quality Olive oil for drizzling
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling pizza stone

Instructions

  • Heat your oven to 500F. If using a pizza stone, place in your oven at 500F to get it very hot.
  • Roll out your crusts and have then ready to place onto your stone or tray.

If Using a Pizza Stone:

  • Generously sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal. Place your rolled out crust onto the peel. Next, spread ~2 heaping Tbsps of pesto onto the crust. Top pesto with a handful of shredded chicken, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and goat cheese. Gingerly, but firmly slide the pizza off the peel and onto your hot stone. Bake for approx. 6-7 minutes, or until the crust has puffed up and the goat cheese looks golden.

If baking on a sheet pan in the Oven:

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place rolled crust onto the center of your pan and top with pesto, chicken, pomegranate and cheese. Bake for about 6-8 minutes. You may need to extend this baking time slightly so go by appearance. The crust should be golden and puffed, and the cheese starting to brown.
  • Drizzle with good olive oil immediately when they come out of the oven, and serve.

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