Friday, August 28, 2009

Pesto di Limone and Pesto ai due Pomodori

A pesto recipe is like a scone recipe for me in that every time I see one, I have to try it. In defense of my sanity though, pesto is a very versatile sauce. It goes well with pasta, smeared on a sandwich, drizzled over vegetables, and could even be a dip. Not only are there many uses, there are also many ways it can be made. In the July/August issue of La Cucina Italiana, there was article about pestos with several recipes which I could not resist. A lemony pesto made with olives was used as a dressing for sea bass crudo on a bed of baby lettuces. I stole the pesto part of that dish and used it instead on a layered salad of raw zucchini and yellow squash slices with fresh mozzarella. Then, I also tried the pesto with two tomatoes which was used as a sauce for spaghetti. That recipe isn’t available online, so I’ll include it below.

To make the pesto di limone, two wide strips of lemon zest were pureed with the juice of a lemon and some olive oil. Then, I was supposed to have used Taggiasche or Gaeta olives, and had I found some green Taggiasche olives the pesto would have been nice and green. Since I used black Gaeta olives, mine was a darker color. The pitted Gaeta olives and two big cups of basil leaves were added to the blender and pureed with the first three ingredients. This resulted in an intentionally thin pesto with a fresh, lemony flavor. The pesto with two tomatoes was just as simple to prepare. First, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and rinsed and drained salt-packed capers were pureed in the blender. Then, cherry tomatoes, and I found the prettiest dark red, almost purple cherry tomatoes, were added, and it was pureed together until smooth. That pesto was transferred to a large bowl, and grated parmigiano reggiano and chopped chives were added.

The tomato pesto required one half cup of olive oil, and I know I’ve used a lot more oil than that in similar quantities of pesto. Yet, the smooth texture gave it a richness that made it seem more decadent than it was. Of course, the flavor was nicely layered with fresh, juicy tomatoes and the depth of sun-dried tomatoes, and the chives lent just enough bite from the allium family. Both pestos are keepers, and I’m sure I’ll think of different ways to use them each time they’re made.

Pesto ai due Pomodori
from La Cucina Italiana July/August 2009
1 c drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
½ c extra-virgin olive oil
1 t salt-packed capers, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again and drained
2 c cherry tomatoes
3 T freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 T chopped fresh chives

-using a blender, puree sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and capers; add cherry tomatoes and puree until smooth
-add one to two tablespoons water to help blend if needed
-transfer mixture to a bowl and add grated parmiginao reggiano and chives and stir to combine

*Note: This quantity of pesto was used to sauce one pound of spaghetti.




41 comments:

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely summer meal!!
    So tasty looking!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...

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  2. I love reading the title Lisa, even more when I see the delicious photo.

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  3. This looks so yummy, I am a pesto lover from way back. Have you tried the Cheeseboard cookbook for scone recipes? Their scones are exceptional!

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  4. I love Italian food! Those pesto sound fantastic!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. I love pesto, too. I'm adding the pomodori to my list of things I must try. That looks too freakin' delish

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  6. one of my cosine is a huge fan of pesto! hes cuming over my place for munch tmrw. i shud prep this for him! thanx for the recipe :)
    cheers!!

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  7. Beautiful presentations. You are so right about the veratility of pesto.

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  8. Excellent pestos! I definitely have to try the lemony one with olives. The pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto looks wonderful!

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  9. The olives give it such a great color. Pass the veggies with that one.

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  10. I love pesto too. When I was a kid, I though there was only the green pesto. The pesto sauce from La Cucina Italiana sounds nice, love the idea of having Taggiasche olives in it!

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  11. This sounds like a must try! I love pesto and this with the tomatoes sounds amazing!

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  12. beautiful summer meal and superb presentation!

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  13. Love the idea of the basil-olive pesto. So with that many olives, though, it doesn't end up overly salty? Or is this a pesto to enjoy sparingly?

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  14. This is a different pesto...looks like a must-try..

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  15. Your dishes look so chic. Looks so yummy too.

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  16. After reading your post, viewing the recipes and looking at the photos, I feel like I just ate at a 5-Star Italian Restaurant. These are must try pestos..and the photos are stunning and mouth watering!

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  17. ever since we have this new blender i am always looking for more recipes that i can puree :D
    and i love pestos aswell!

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  18. I agree, pesto is very versatile. I love,love this version, very summery, very fresh.
    Thanks for share

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  19. Carolyn: Good question. I've actually shown a few extra olives in the photo, but only a quarter cup was used in the recipe. I didn't add any additional salt, and with the basil and olive oil, it wasn't too salty. I don't think I would mix that particular pesto into a pasta dish, but as a salad topping it worked great.

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  20. ooooh, freshly-grated cheese, how i love the look of you. what a classy and delightful dish.

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  21. I love the way you presented the zucchini and mozzarella salad. It's unique and very elegant.

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  22. I love the zucchini salad - the homemade pesto sounds great too!

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  23. This pasta looks excellent. Never tried to make pesto sauce. Now, I really want to make it.

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  24. Fabulous! The first pesto sounds like an olive tapenade but so much tastier! I love it! And that tomato pesto is definitely a must-try. Beautiful!

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  25. You made me realize just how versatile pesto really is. Thanks.

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  26. That tomato pesto sounds amazing (my hubby would love the first one too, but I'm not a big olive fan)! I'm a huge pesto fan too, it comes together so quickly and is so versatile and flavorful!

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  27. We love pesto and always keep some in the freezer to eat with bread. Will try your recipe on day. Tks for sharing.

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  28. Hi Lisa, how are you?

    Love anything with tomato..n ur spaghetti looks killer ..YUM :)

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  29. I never really appreciated pesto until THIS post! Thank you! I'm defintiely going to enjoy it more now, and I MUST try this recipe! :-)

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  30. Love the sound of both of these pestos, and I agree with you...they're versatile, easy to make, and have such a punch of flavor. The tomato pesto looks so elegant on your pasta...wish I had that bowl in front of me right now.

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  31. When I crave pasta (which admittedly is often) this is what I crave. Delicious noodles with a sauce that clings to every strand. I've never been able to recreate what I am craving but I think I just found it here. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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  32. This looks so tasty --- yum! I want some for dinner.

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  33. lovely looking pasta. Love the orange hue. Beautiful.

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  34. What unique pesto sauces! Incredible flavors - they both look insanely delicious!

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  35. Mmm I wish I could eat this twice a week! Love pesto

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  36. you have used very flavorful ingredients here. i like trying out different dips & pestos too.. getss really exciting when the pasta gets so uniquely dressed everytime.

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  37. Both pestos are fantastic! I'm definitely marking this page to try them out. The pesto di limone is striking; 'nice and green' would certainly be nice but I love this deep dark hue!

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