Fresh Herb Pesto contains no cheese, no nuts, just fresh herb flavor that goes on everything! Really, everything
The making of Fresh Herb Pesto
The summer months are perfect for dishes that call for a fresh herb pesto. After all, we have gardens full of them, our farmer's markets and even our local grocery stores are full of fresh herbs.
No cheese, no nuts, no kidding
Almost all fresh herb pestos have cheese in them. And nuts. But I wanted a different, fresher flavor. So I thought I would make one without nuts, or cheese.
No extra oil either!
While mulling this recipe over in my mind, I did my usual online and cookbook research. Almost every recipe for a pesto or salsa verde that did not use cheese or nuts seemed to have an extra dose of oil. I didn't think this pesto needed all that oil (nor did my waist and hips) so I used about half.
It turned out great!
This Fresh Herb Pesto really delivers on flavor. And I loved the vibrant green color. It screams summer!
Fresh Herb Pesto is like a great black dress, it goes with everything
It goes on everything. Really, everything. I served it first with some slow-braised pork that we pulled and put into corn tortillas with just this pesto on top and a bit of cabbage for crunch, fabulous!
The next day I mixed a little into some leftover Farro Salad. Yum.
Its final hurrah was on some grilled Lamb Chops. YES!
Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herb Pesto
You could add a little pasta cooking water and put it on your pasta, roast some potatoes, and then toss them with this pesto. A dollop on fish would be delightful.
Please give the anchovy a chance - it's magic
You might be hesitant to use the anchovy, but please do. It adds such a great depth of flavor. And you know me, I'm all about depth of flavor.
The Serrano adds just a perfect amount of heat. So if you like it hotter, add a bit more. Not so hot? Remove the seeds and start with half as much.
Taste and adjust. Taste and adjust.
Easy to make in advance
I would allow this pesto to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. If you want to hold it longer, put a light layer of olive oil over the top, to retain its green color, and then cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Fresh Herb Pesto
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
- ¼ cup capers
- 1 - 2 Serrano peppers seeded if desired, sliced ( remember to check your heat factor before you add them)
- 2 bunches of Italian parsley cleaned and trimmed, some stems are fine
- 2 bunches of cilantro cleaned and trimmed, some stems are fine
- ⅛ cup fresh lemon juice or to taste
- ½ to ⅔ cup of a good fruity extra virgin olive oil
- Dash of salt and pepper to taste
- If making in a food processor: Place the garlic, mustard, anchovies, capers, and peppers into the work bowl, puree until smooth.
- Add the parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice, puree while slowly adding the olive oil through the chute. Process until smooth.
- If using a handy dandy Kitchenaid or other Blender: Place all of the ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Turn on the blender to a low speed, using a taper, tap the greens into the blades as you slowly turn the speed up to medium. Process until smooth.