Get ready for a flavor explosion with a very light touch of jalapeno!
Last night my daughter and I were experimenting with a very easy pesto recipe and came up with this amazing pesto variation! (We used a food processor; but if you have a mortar and pestle it would be much more authentic). For a little more heat, increase the amount of Jalapeno Infused Olive Oil or try this recipe with our Chipotle Infused Olive Oil instead.
4 oz package of fresh basil leaves (approx. 2 cups or 3+ large handfuls)
2 large cloves of garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 t salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup) of pine nuts
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Jalapeno Infused Texas Olive Oil
Add garlic with salt to processor and chop till paste forms (or mash garlic into salt to form a paste); add basil to mixer and chop until fine; add pine nuts and process until it starts to form a creamy paste; add the parmesan and blend again, wiping down sides with a spatula between steps. Finally, with processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend to form a smooth luscious paste.
The uses for pesto are endless! A great pesto is such a wonderful flavor explosion that it makes an excellent last step addition to just about any dish before serving -- a well-kept secret guaranteed to dazzle guests every time!
Here are a few of our favorite uses....
- We slathered this wonderful pesto onto our baked chicken at the last minute, turned OFF the oven and let the residual heat unfold the flavors into the chicken (only about 2 to 3 minutes).
- This pesto can be spread over warm pizza bread straight from the oven and cut into pizza breadsticks.
- A delicious and healthy party dip for crudites.
- Spread on crustini and serve plain, or try topping with a slice of tomato or goat cheese. Be creative and have fun!
- Add (at the last minute) to steamed or sauteed vegetables
- And of course, nothing beats a tablespoon to two of pesto stirred into freshly cooked pasta - pure and simple bliss!
Note: Basil is a very delicate herb and can be ruined with too much heat. So heat it gently, or add to warm dishes after cooking to retain its wonderfully fresh taste!Keep some pesto in a jar in the fridge so you can easily add a last-minute spoonful to any dish. Pour a thin layer of Jalapeno Olive Oil on top before closing the jar lid - to keep the basil flavor fresh.