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Purple Lightning Pesto

Purple Lightning Pesto

Turn your delicious, traditional pesto on its head! Here I used my last harvest of Purple Ruffles Basil to make a striking purple basil, just as delicious as any homemade basil can be, but with a color that will keep you going back for more, time after time. 

Want to make a pesto everyone will talk about?

Turn your delicious, traditional pesto on its head! Here I used my last harvest of Purple Ruffles Basil to make a striking purple basil, just as delicious as any homemade basil can be, but with a color that will keep you going back for more, time after time. 

It's a simple and fast recipe and will make the most of the sublime color of Purple Ruffles Basil by producing jars of jewel-tones, flavor-filled goodness. Best used fresh, this pesto can also be kept frozen to preserve both the color and the flavor.

So, go ahead and whip up a batch of Purple Lightning Basil this summer. From sides to appetizers, pesto is a versatile sauce that is easily enjoyed in or on many different dishes, not just pasta. 

 

The Best Basil to Use for Pesto

 Originally from Genoa, Italy, pesto traces its name to the Italian word "pestare," which means "to crush or pound." The most popular variety of pesto now is made by "crushing" basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and some hard cheese in a food processor or blender.

Any fresh basil can be used to make pesto, but only vibrant purple basil leaves like those of Purple Ruffles Basil will give it the striking purple color of this recipe. 

If you don't have Purple Ruffles Basil, though, don't worry. Any fresh basil will give the same delicious result, with the exception of Thai Basil, which is a bit too pungent. 

 

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh Purple Ruffles Basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (you can also use chopped walnuts)
  • cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

 

Method

  1. Pulse the basil and pine nuts:

    Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times. You can also use a blender, but be careful not to over-blend to preserve the texture.

  2. Add the garlic and cheese:

    Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

  3. Slowly pour in the olive oil:

    While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly while the processor is running will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally, stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

  4. Season the pesto sauce:

    Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Want more kick? Add some fiery chili!

  5. Keep the pesto cold and in an airtight container to keep the color vibrant and the taste at its best. Store for about a week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

Purple Lightning Pesto - from Ethos Seed Company blog

Now strut your stuff!

Impress your guests! Amaze your family! Now comes the time to strut your stuff and use the Purple Lighting basil sauce in your cooking.

 

Did you make this recipe? Did you impress your guests or wow your family? Want to share the way you used the Purple Lightning pesto? Comment below!

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