Cooking Pesto Pizza. I really enjoy pesto and I love cooking pesto pizza. So here are some recipes and a little knowledge about pesto!
The Meaning of Pesto
The Italian word for pesto: pestare, means to pound, or to crush. Pesto was originally prepared with a marble mortar and wooden pestle. The ingredients were pounded or crushed with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar.But today we have the “food processor” making pest ever so simple!
It has been Noted that the ancient Romans ate a paste called “moretum”, prepared by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together. Because the term pesto is a generic word for anything that is made by pounding or crushing, that leaves the original pesto sauce recipe open to flexible and differing ways to prepare the sauce. But the basic ingredients are basil, fresh pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. That’s the basics, but you can substitute and add all types of things to your pesto and create your own pesto masterpiece . Some people are allergic to nuts, so they don’t use them at all. Other recipes can use walnuts pistachio nuts or any nuts that are available. Fresh herbs, mint , lemon and countless combinations can make incredible flavors
Here are some great recipes for your family
The Basic Pesto
2cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
2tablespoons pine nuts
2large cloves garlic
½cup extra-virgin olive oil
½cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
Basil Pistachio Pesto
A delicious twist on the Italian classic, your family will love this Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto. Serve on pasta, drizzle over meat or use as a salad dressing!
3ouncesfresh basilabout 2 cups
2ouncesDiamond of California Shelled Pistachios
1ouncegrated Parmigiano Reggiano
1juice and zest of lemon
Place the first seven ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until it start breaking down the pesto.
With the processor on low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Puree until smooth and creamy
Spread it on pizza with instead of red sauce or WITH red sauce as a base
Toss it with your favorite pasta
Use it as a spread on a sandwich with sliced deli meats or vegetarian ingredients
It makes a great marinade for meat, chicken or fish before grilling or roasting
Stir it into a favorite risotto recipe
Use it as a sauce on cooked meat, chicken, fish or vegetables
Brush it on warm corn on the cob
Lemon Mint Pesto
3 cloves fresh garlic
4 cups fresh mint1
cup grated parmesan.
½ cup walnuts , chopped
juice and zest of one small lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Add garlic cloves to the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse until finely chopped . Scrape down the sides so it mixes with the other ingredients
Add fresh mint, parmesan, nuts , lemon zest and the juice. Pulse until a thick paste forms.
While the food processor is running , slowly stream in the olive oil this way it will emulsify with the pesto. be sure its not sticking to the sides and is all mixing well
Add salt and pepper to taste stir well and enjoy!
You can truly get creative with your pesto the variations and flavors are endless.
Cooking Pesto Pizza
I love it on pizza with fresh mozzarella and asiago cheese shrimp or chicken and some roasted tomatoes (yes cooked in the wood fired oven), When I make pesto its the traditional way but I sometimes add a hint of mint and some lemon zest just because I enjoy the extra flavor. I like to make enough for my pizza and for some pasta the next day with some shrimp!
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