Friday, July 13, 2012

Oregano Pesto

This is the third summer Ryan and I have been in our house, and every summer we add one more thing to our "garden." I put garden in quotes because it refers to pots on our back patio. We live in a town home, and are not allowed to dig into the ground, so we have to keep everything in pots. This pretty much limits us to growing herbs and some vegetables.

Oregano Pesto |

I love having my own little herb garden though! I cook with herbs all the time and even use them in cocktails. I add them to everything and think fresh herbs are so much better than dried! This is one of my favorite recipes to highlight all the fresh herbs from the garden, Zucchini Pie.

This year, we got a bit ahead of ourselves and decided to add SEVERAL new things - chives, spinach, oregano and a new kind of mint. I usually get herbs that are already potted and transfer them, and I always buy organic ones so I can start using them right away. Archer Lodge Herb Farm is my favorite spot at the Raleigh Farmer's Market to pick some up. I am waiting patiently for them to get parsley and tarragon so I can add to my collection!

Oregano Pesto |

Since the weather has been warm and we've had random rain showers, the herbs are growing like crazy!! I usually bring in a bunch to work and hand out so I don't have to throw them away. But another great solution is to make pesto! 

Oregano Pesto |

Most people think of pesto with basil, which is usually true. But why not take the same concept and apply it to other herbs that are growing rampant in our garden. Oregano was one that I need to use up and fast! I have included a recipe for oregano pesto below, but this has a bite to it - be forewarned! 

For a good basic basil pesto, head over to Heidi's site on
101 cookbooks for an authentic Italian recipe (here is a hint, it is all in the technique).

Oregano Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

2 cups packed fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese
2 small cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
1/2 olive oil (plus more per taste)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Here is the easy part - put everything into a food processor and start blending it all together until you get a well combined pesto. Add in more salt and pepper to desired taste and lemon juice to prevent the pesto from turning brown. Keep this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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