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Friday, April 3, 2009

Pesto Madness

I woke up this morning and opened my fridge, only to realize that a gang of vibrant colored pesto's have taken over.
Little glass jars fume with intense aromatics and creamy goodness. Unique blends of herbs, nuts, and cheeses that I just simply can't get enough of. Pesto is a culinary fare that has taken the United States by storm over the years, and you don't need an Italian grandmother to tell you why.
The reason why I love pesto so much is for their pungent yet delicate flavors that complement a variety of dishes in place of the boring, and sometimes bland, dried herbs and spices of today. Pesto offers a fresh and clean flavor that is unmistakable.
The basic components to a good pesto is any combination of herbs, hard cheese, nuts, and olive oil. Dried fruit in combination with nuts and olive oil is another variation. Just combine all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a rich consistency that's spreadable and delicious.
Pesto stores up to a week in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for later use. When freezing, fill an ice cube tray with prepared pesto and freeze for easy measuring. If your pressed for time, don't forget that a variety of pestos are also available in grocery stores.
One of my favorite, and basic recipes for using pesto is Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli. It is one that I stumbled upon when trying to dress up a wrap for lunch one day. Its very easy and adds a burst of flavor to any wrap, sandwich, or burger. It can also be made with plain low fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a creamy sauce that is Delicious on pasta or your favorite omelet.

Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

1/2 cups Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomato Pesto (Like Bella Sun Luci w/pine nuts)
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Chili Sauce

Stir all ingredients together until well blended. Store in the refrigerator for later use.

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