Saturday, April 29, 2006

As Long as I'm on an Herb Roll...

Looking at the 2 bunches of parsley and cilantro left over from making last night's dinner, pesto came to mind. Frozen cubes of it to toss into a soup or with a (low carb) pasta; to thaw and use as a spread on garlic toasts or to dip your favorite veggie into. The list is practically unlimited.

This recipe was adapted from my recently acquired "Seasonal Southwest Cooking" by Barbara Pool Fenzl. A beautifully photographed and presented cookbook packed with mouth-watering recipes of the American southwest persuasion.

Cilantro Pecan Pesto
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup grana padano, (or other parmesan cheese) broken into pieces
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (some small stems okay)
1 cup packed fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on your heat tolerance
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except olive oil, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until blended but still coarse.
Pour in the olive oil and continue to pulse until a beautiful green paste forms. You don't want this too smooth; it should still have granular bits in it. Add salt and pepper to taste, pulsing briefly to blend.

If using the same day, place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Alternatively, fill non-stick mini muffin tins almost full and freeze, uncovered. When frozen, pop the pesto out of the tins and freeze in
a zip-top freezer bag. Allow to sit at room temperature to thaw.