I LOOK FORWARD TO EARLY SPRING WHEN HERBS RETURN TO LIFE. Forget about boring old basil pesto. Cut a big variety of herbs and your favorite greens; fennel fronds, sage leave, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, purple mustard leaves, kale, arugula, or whatever strikes your fancy! Don’t forget the chives!
Strip the smaller leave from woody herb stems, otherwise just tear the leave coarsely and pile as much as you can into a food processor, add two or ten cloves of garlic, salt to taste (a little at first) and some olive oil (a quarter to half cup) to get things going and puree, adding more oil as needed until mixture is smooth or the texture you like. Taste and adjust seasoning and amount of oil.
Spring in a jar!
At this point I jarred half of the mixture and added lightly toasted walnuts and pine nuts to the remaining puree in the processor and processed until smooth. I covered the pesto with a film of olive oil, sealed up the jars and put some into the freezer for later use.
Add a spoonful to a vinaigrette dressing, smear some on a plate and top with roasted, skinned and cooled roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella; treat as you would basil pesto and toss with pasta or…
Add a big spoonful into some foccacia dough or savory quick bread batter.
HERE’S to SPRING!