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Happy Hump Day: Italian Parsley Pesto

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With summer over, and fresh basil limited, my go to flavor enhancer is this easy quick pesto. Ingredients are available all year around. Dollop it on any pasta, fish, or chicken. Mix with grains to boost up the flavor factor. Smear it on a crusty dense bread and top with a slice or mozzarella cheese for a fast and simple appetizer. And my favorite — of course — on top of a poached egg on a bed of sliced tomatoes and avocado. And if you want to turn it into a vinaigrette, just add a bit of champagne vinegar and red wine vinegar and you’ll have a tasty addition to any salad.

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Italian parsley – washed and stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon good parmesan cheese
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Roasted Garlic

  1. Place a bulb of garlic on a sheet of foil large enough to wrap and cover completely.
  2. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Wrap with foil and roast for 90 minutes at 275 degrees.
  5. When cool, slice off the top of the garlic and squeeze the roasted garlic out like you would tooth paste from a tube.

Note: The slow roasting gives the garlic a savory and somewhat sweet flavor profile. Roasting can be done three days in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to prepare your pesto.

Pesto

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the olive oil.
  2. Turn on the food processer and let ingredients mix for about ten seconds.
  3. With the processer still on, and through the top of the lid opening, slowly add the olive oil and emulsify the pesto until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use

Note: Pesto will stay fresh in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Give it a stir each time before using. You may see that the green turns dark on top; that is the exposure to air and is not harmful and does not interfere with the taste.

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