Nothing quite says summer like the fresh, herbaceous burst of basil, lemon and parmesan that is pesto. To us, pesto is the ultimate summer spread.
Whether you are serving it with fresh tomatoes, as a sauce for a pasta, or as a spread on a sandwich, this summer herb pesto will complete and elevate any dish.
Pesto, which derives from the Italian word pestare, meaning to pound or crush, was named after the technique that was originally used to make it. Traditionally, pesto was made in a mortar and pestle and the ingredients were crushed and mixed together to bring everything together. While recipes similar to pesto were being made through Europe and especially in Ancient Rome for generations prior, the first published recording of pesto came in 1865 in the cookbook “La Cucina Genovese”.
While you can certainly make pesto using the traditional mortal and pestle, it's common and a lot easier to make it using a food processor. Aside from it being faster, your herbs will keep more of their green hue, whereas sometimes when using a mortal and pestle the herbs begin to brown a bit.
The two big differences between this recipe and a classic pesto is the use of herbs other than using only basil and the way we treat two of those herbs.
The additional herbs hit your palate in waves that combine with the other ingredients to perform a symphony of tunes on your tongue that will have you picking up different flavors throughout the whole meal. This makes this summer herb pesto so dynamic and is a huge reason why I can’t ever put it down.
The second difference in this recipe is that we chose to blanch and shock half of the basil and half of the parsley. We do this to preserve the color and to slow the oxidation process.
In addition to the herbs, we use the following ingredients to make this summer herb pesto:
When the ingredients are ready, add in them in a blender or food processor and purée until everything is chopped together but not completely smooth. Serve chilled and use within 3 days of making!
We hope you enjoy this summer herb pesto!
Cheers and eat well!
This four herb pesto is the ultimate summer spread, sauce, or just a great accompaniment to any summer dish. It's fresh with bursts of basil, parsley, mint, thyme and lemon, and completely comes together with the parmesan and pine nuts.
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