Pesto Recipes

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Palmier Recipe

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Palmier

01.28.10 by Jackie

If you're planning on having a romantic meal on Valentine's Day, check out these adorable heart-shaped puff pastry appetizers. They're called palmiers. I've made a different version before with a traditional basil pesto, but today I decided to make them with sun-dried tomato pesto. Not only does it taste great, but the red color makes these little treats perfect for Valentine's Day.

Even though palmiers look really fancy, they are ultra simple to make. If you're in a real hurry, you can even use store-bought pesto. Don't worry, I won't tell.


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Pesto Palmiers (Basil Pesto Elephant Ears) Recipe

Pesto palmiers are quick and easy appetizers for an elegant party. I made these pesto palmiers bite-sized so that they would work well at a dinner party we're hosting tonight. I have to thank Rianne from Art of Dessert for her post that reminded me of how to make them. As she said, palmiers look incredibly fancy, but in reality are quite easy to make. On top of that, the puff pastry "logs" of palmiers can be frozen for later use. If you're storing frozen pesto cubes as I've suggested in the past, this is a recipe that you can whip up whenever you're in a pinch, and no one will be the wiser!

Pesto Palmiers


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Pasta Shells Stuffed with Porcini Mushroom Walnut Pesto Recipe

This is a vegetarian pasta dish that even a meat lover won't be able to resist. The porcini mushrooms add a rich, meaty flavor to the pesto, and the walnuts provide a crunchy kick. You could serve the pesto with any pasta, but I like the pasta shells because of their presentation value.

As an added bonus, the pesto is not only really easy to make, but will keep very well in the freezer. Make some extra and you'll be able to whip up a quick meal when you're in a hurry.


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Savory Goat Ricotta Cheese Puffs Recipe

There are guests coming tomorrow, and as usual I had no clue about what to make. I scoured my pantry and found a bag of macadamia nuts, just waiting to be used. I made walnut pesto yesterday, and I didn't feel like making another pasta and pesto dish. As they say, variety is the spice of life. 

I think appetizers are perfect for dinner parties; they allow people to nibble without interrupting the flow of conversation. I often make some sort of mini puff pastry, and I thought a macadamia pesto would be the perfect filling. However, a traditional pesto would be too thin on its own, so I added some homemade crème fraîche and some goat ricotta cheese. As you may have noticed, I'm a huge fan of goat ricotta cheese, and I get it whenever it's available at the local creamery.

Today, I made the pesto and the dough, tested out and baked a couple of puffs in the oven for tasting. The smell was intoxicating, and it was really difficult to snap a couple of photos before everyone descended upon them. 

You can freeze both the pesto and the dough. If you often have last minute guests as we do, it's easy to pop them out of the freezer and bake them. Your guests will love them, and you'll be a rockstar without much effort!


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Parsley-Walnut Pesto Penne Pasta with Asparagus Recipe

I had some leftover curly parsley from my stuffed tomatoes, and some walnuts leftover from my kiwi tarts, and I needed to figure out what to do with them. Pesto seemed like the perfect way to utilize the ingredients I had on hand. The parsley provided the green color and "herby" flavor typically delivered by the more commonly used basil.  I used the walnuts in place of pine nuts, and blended them with the parsley along with some olive oil. I added some walnut oil as well to accentuate the flavor of the whole walnuts and tossed the mixture with sautéed leeks and asparagus and mini penne pasta.

Finding ways to use not only your leftovers, but your leftover ingredients, will save you time and money. You just need to have a few flexible, go-to recipes in your culinary arsenal, and you'll be prepared to face whatever your refrigerator and pantry throw at you. Pesto is definitely one of those recipes.


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