This is yet another one of my Food Re-engineering experiments, because I just can’t leave well enough alone. 🙂 Besides, y’all seem to like my experiments and my pesto recipes so here is one more variation on a theme! After I made Fresco Pesto With Basil & Kale out of desperation when I was out of parsley, I decided to try a few more new ideas! 🙂 Often my innovations are born of necessity and sometimes, just shear overwhelm and this new recipe is no different!
My neighbor had just given me all of this awesome fresh basil and I was supposed to try to make a new basil salt recipe with it. Well, let’s just say that trying to get all of the content written and uploaded for the new blog made it so I was a bit overwhelmed for a little while and I didn’t have it in me to try the basil salt because in my head I saw it as a very time consuming task that I didn’t have time for. This probably was not true but you know how it is once you get something in your head. SO, every day I would wake up thinking I was gonna make that salt and everyday I got caught up in everything but. IN other words, I procrastinated to the point that the basil was lying in wait, wilting in my fridge. I absolutely refused to let that basil go to waste and one of the fastest, simplest and my most fav things to do with fresh basil (as you already know) is to make pesto. And since the last two pesto recipes came out so well, why not try for the TRIFECTA? They are all good but this one is truly the winner of the experimental pesto lab!
The moral of this story is: Get Creative! Use what you’ve got! Experiment a little (or a lot) and try new things! Since this is my third (and should be final but probably won’t be) pesto recipe on the blog, you know I’m always open to new ingredient ideas so feel free to comment and let me know what unusual ingredients you’ve put in your pesto!
Cooking should (and can) be fun so enjoy!
Oil: I try to limit the oil in this because I hate pesto that is that is really greasy. You can use more or less than the 1 cup depending on your taste and your blender/food processor. I generally add enough for the whole glob to move nicely and puree well in my Ninja.
Salt: Don’t go out and buy special salt for this recipe. You can use any salt. I just like Celtic Sea Salt best for this recipe and I think it’s better for you with less sodium content overall.
Herbs: I use old flour sack towels to dry them after rinsing with water (do not use soap). I roll up the herbs in the towel and press gently to remove excess water.
Fresco Pesto with Chia and Mint
- 1 c give or take olive oil I like full bodied for this recipe
- 1/4 to 1/2 lemon juiced add 1/4 first and if you want more add another 1/4 after pureed then re-blend
- 4-5 large toes garlic
- 1 large bunch fresh basil cleaned and dried some stems and blooms are ok but not the thicker ones
- 1 small bunch dried mint cleaned and dried some small stems are ok
- 1 small bunch parsley cleaned and dried some thin stems ok
- 1 c parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c pine nuts
- 1/2 c walnuts
- 1/4 c chia seeds
- Celtic sea salt to taste The parm will add saltiness so start with less. You can always add more later
- ground cracked pepper to taste
I use my Ninja with the large 72 oz. pitcher for this recipe. If you don’t have a Ninja, you can use a blender or a food processor (if it has a large enough bowl).
Add ingredients to Ninja, Blender or Food Processor in the order they appear. Puree. You may need to open the top occasionally and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides into the center. Keep doing this until all ingredients are smooth and creamy but with texture.
Taste! Add more of anything you want to taste more of (lemon, parm, salt, pepper, etc.) and re-puree.
Storage suggestions: Eat some now and scoop the rest into small containers to freeze for later!
If you have dentures you may want to leave out the Chia seeds. They can be nasty little buggers to get out!