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Summer is the perfect time for fresh herbs. This pesto recipe is simple and delicious. Serve with grilled vegetables, chicken or shrimp over tagliatelle, spaghetti or linguine. For the ultimate refreshing flavors, serve this with a glass of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Pinot Gris.

 

Mixed Herb Pesto

By Marilyn Tsai

 

Serves 4

 

4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, washed in cool water and dried thoroughly

1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, washed in cool water and dried thoroughly

A generous pinch of coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon walnuts, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon freshly and finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 tablespoon freshly and finely grated Reggiano cheese

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Makes about 3/4 cup, enough for 1 lb of pasta. Prepare pasta according to instructions printed on the pasta package.

 

To make the pesto in a mortar: Place a few leaves of the basil in the bottom of a mortar and sprinkle salt over them. Crush the leaves coarsely with the pestle, add a few more leaves, and continue crushing, adding new leaves each time those in the mortar are crushed, until all the leaves are coarsely ground. Drop in the lime juice. Toss in the garlic and pound until mixture forms a smooth paste. Add the nuts and grind them to a paste. Stir in the cheese, and then add enough olive oil to give the pesto a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

 

To make the pesto in a food processor or blender: Combine the herbs, salt, lime juice and garlic in the food processor bowl or blender, and then add 2 tablespoons of the oil and blend at low speed, stopping frequently to press the basil down around the blades (use a wooden spoon or spatula-do not use your fingers). Pulse/blend until herbs forms a coarse paste. Toss in the nuts and pour in the remaining olive oil. Pulse/blend until nuts are grounded. (Do not over blend the nuts, you want some texture to the nuts!) Stir in the grated cheeses and enough additional olive oil to form a creamy paste. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.