Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rosemary Pesto

I adore the taste and fragrance of fresh rosemary. In fact, the dried stuff is also one of my favorite herbs. If you enjoy rosemary and have access to a rosemary bush (my neighbors are kind enough to share theirs with me), here is a delicious rosemary pesto recipe. The flavor is quite intense, so a little goes a long way. I recommend starting with 1/4 cup of the rosemary leaves first and giving it a taste, and then adding more if you want. I like to stir in a dash of red pepper flakes at the end, to add a bit of a spicy kick -- this pesto is robust enough to handle it! Serve this aromatic pesto tossed with pasta, or as a "wet rub" or marinade base for lamb or chicken, or whisked with a little melted butter to make a quick sauce for grilled vegetables, seafood, and steamed carrots. Rosemary pesto freezes well, so I usually make a whole bunch and spoon into little plastic 1/2-cup containers, adding a thin layer of olive oil on top (to protect against freezer burn) before covering and freezing.

1/4 cup to 1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh Italian flat parsley
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (don't use the stuff that comes in a can)
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Red pepper flakes to taste

Place the the first 5 ingredients in your food processor and begin processing. Slowly and carefully drizzle in the olive oil while processing to desired consistency. Taste, then season with salt and pepper (and red pepper flakes) as desired, making sure to stir or pulse to mix in the seasoning. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before using, to allow flavors to develop.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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