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Posts Tagged ‘pesto’

Pesto Bread

This was one of  the things I made for my friends after starting my first job at a bread store.   We were all young and didn’t have a bunch of money, but this was cheap, filling, yummy, and requested a lot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of french bread, and it doesn’t have to be the artisan type! (I prefer a non-sourdough)
  • 1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan or Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup prepared pesto (see Basil “Pesto” recipe)
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Turn your oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the parmesan cheese with the ricotta.

Set it aside. Cut french loaf in half lengthwise. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on each half of the bread loaf. It should be around 1/8 of an inch thick.

Pour 1/3 cup to 1/2 a cup (depending on how big your loaf is) of pesto over the ricotta cheese mixture and spread to the edges of the bread.

Then sprinkle on the mozzarella,and place on an aluminum lined cookie sheet.

Bake  until the top is brown and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve!!!

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Basil “Pesto”

The reason I don’t like calling this sauce a true basil pesto is that it’s missing a main ingredient.  I don’t add pine nuts.  I’ve tried pesto with toasted pine nuts, with a small amount of pine nuts, with walnuts even (which is good!) but was still not happy.  The nuts seem to take away the from the flavor of the basil, which is the showcase of this sauce.  So I just stay away from them. I use this to make creamy pesto dressing, pesto bread, pesto lasagna, pizza…  so I figure I better post this recipes as the base to many!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of basil leaves
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or Italian cheese blend
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Pick all the basil leaves from the stems. Inspect your basil to make sure there aren’t any critters living on there. I had a bad experience with aphids on basil once. Gently rinse of the leaves and dry on a paper towel.  You don’t want to bruise the leaves.

Stuff all your basil, garlic, salt, and olive oil into a blender or food processor.

Blend for 20-30 seconds or until he garlic is completely chopped up and you have a bright green slurry.  It may take longer than 30 second depending on the blender you’re using, and it may need more olive oil. Drizzle oil in as needed up to 2/3 cup of olive oil.

Once your garlic and basil are all chopped up, add in cheese and melted butter.

And pulse 5-6 times to blend the cheese.  Store refrigerated in a mason jar (the glass isn’t porous and

doesn’t stain) but make sure the top is completely covered by a thin layer of olive oil to prevent spoiling.

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