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Topic: Texas Pecan Pesto  (Read 509 times)
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txweekendchef
« on: June 17, 2014 09:22:05 AM »

My basil in my herb garden is growing like weeds, time to make some pesto!

I actually use pecans instead of pine nuts (I have pecan trees in my backyard) and it turns out great  Smiley

I even go an extra step and smoke the pecans before it goes in the pesto. This gives the pesto a touch of smoke and a nice nutty pecan flavor.
If you do not have a smoker, roasting in the oven works too with pecans.


Here is what the pesto looks like when it is done. I like to hand-chop my pesto instead of using a food processor. Maybe its just me, but pesto out of a food processor has a baby-food light green look to it and has a one-note taste. When you hand-chop pesto, the basil turns a nice dark green and the small chunks of nuts, cheese and garlic create little flavor explosions in your mouth.


Here is my basil plants growing like weeds in my herb garden. If you are interested in herb gardens I did a post on mine in the Craftster forum here (it won a craftster's best of 2012):
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=410921.0#axzz34ugTSExW


Back to the pesto. Here is the basil, pecans, Parmesan cheese and garlic being hand chopped.



Here is the recipe:

Texas Pecan Pesto

Ingredients

2 to 3 cups of basil leaves (when pressed flat in measuring cup)

1 cup pecan halves

cup of shaved Parmesan cheese

3 to 4 cloves of garlic

to 1 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Directions

Smoke or roast pecans, if you have a smoker smoke pecans at a low temperature (180-200F) for an hour, then raise the temperature to 300F and roast for 20 minutes, turning the pecans once. If using the oven, preheat oven to 300F and roast pecans for 20 minutes, turning the pecans once.

Let pecans cool, then roughly chop (1/4 inch squares) and set aside.

Roughly chop garlic and Parmesan cheese, and then set aside.

Roughly chop basil leaves, and then add chopped pecans, garlic and Parmesan cheese and mix together on cutting board.

Finely chop basil mixture till it is almost minced (check picture in slide show above).

Place basil mixture into bowl and stir in olive oil a couple of tablespoons at a time until the mixture is just saturated with the oil. Salt to taste.

Pesto can keep for around two weeks in the refrigerator.

I wrote a little story about making the pesto and have some step-by-step pictures on my blog here:
http://www.dfw.com/2014/06/16/901299/weekend-chef-texas-pecan-pesto.html

Steve
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014 10:30:38 AM »

Oh man, I love pesto! Do you ever freeze it? I'll freeze up some extra in muffin tins at the end of the season, and then have "fresh" pesto all winter long. Mmmm.
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014 10:46:46 AM »

Oh man, I love pesto! Do you ever freeze it? I'll freeze up some extra in muffin tins at the end of the season, and then have "fresh" pesto all winter long. Mmmm.

Not often, it normally does not last that long Smiley When I do I leave the Parmesan cheese out of the recipe.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014 10:54:01 AM »

My basil was going crazy too, and a week ago I could have made this.  Sadly my landlord didn't tell us they were power-washing our building with bleach, and it killed my herb garden on the porch.  Just stopped at the store to buy new plants and potting soil, so hopefully it will be up and growing again soon.  Then I'm definitely making this!  Can't wait to try it with the pecans.  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014 12:32:40 PM »

Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014 02:45:11 PM »

That sounds wonderful!
I'm also jealous that you have a pecan tree.  I like pecans. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014 03:37:02 PM »

That sounds wonderful!
I'm also jealous that you have a pecan tree.  I like pecans. 

I have 5 pecan trees Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014 12:54:26 AM »

Oooh pecan pesto sounds divine.  Thanks for sharing, I shall have to try this.
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