Sunday, September 21, 2008


Pesto Cream Cheese SpreadRed Pesto

This weekend, I explored the wild world of Pesto (in the process, I killed my good trusty sidekick Little Choppy by dropping him on the floor *sniff*).

For the Green Stuff:

2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
85 grams (3 oz) cream cheese

In a food processor or blender (a stick blender will work for this too, as I had to learn the hard way) combine the garlic, basil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Pulse until everything is chopped and combined. Add the olive oil and pulse again. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.

Serve spread on freshly baked bread. If you leave out the cream cheese, this is a darn good plain old pesto recipe too! I had a small amount of pine nuts leftover when I finished this, so I just stirred them in without chopping them at the end.

For the red stuff:

55 grams (2 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves
1/8 cup pine nuts
1/2 small onion
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 whole tomato, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of warm water and let them soften for 5-10 minutes.

In a food processor or blender (again, stick blender will work) combine the softened sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, and onion. Pulse until well blended. Add the vinegar and tomato pieces and pulse again until well blended. Finally, add the olive oil and pulse once more! Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

This was a good bread spread, but this recipe made enough that even with 6 of us eating off of it, Martijn and I will have enough to have it over pasta sometime this week.

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