Thursday, September 23, 2010

Herb Mayonnaise and Pesto

Inspired by Mark Bittman's recent paean to the food processor, we made a couple tasty condiments with farm share herbs this week.

Jack fried some eggplant slices for eggplant-tomato-mozzarella sandwiches for lunch one day and talked me into making basil mayonnaise to go with them. (It's amazing how many of our conversations start with me saying, "I think I'm just going to warm up some leftovers" and end with me emulsifying egg yolks.) We did the mayonnaise recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which is pretty much the same as the method described in the article, and just threw in a big handful of basil at the end.

Then, to use up the herbs on Tuesday, we made a lemon-basil-parsley pesto, based on our usual pesto recipe, but with a few twists:
In the food processor, combine a small handful of walnuts, a shallot (I was too lazy to peel garlic), and a few big strips of lemon zest. Process to combine. Add as much basil and parsley as you have, as well as a few ice chunks*, and process until smoothish. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in half a cup or so of olive oil. Add a handful of Parmesan and process; add additional Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
(Mark Bittman, as usual, one-ups us for minimalism and makes pesto mayonnaise.)

* The ice chunks purportedly keep the herbs bright green. I don't know about that, and I've always skipped this step before, but it turned out that the additional agitation made the herbs process in our tiny Cuisinart much more easily.

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