Meyer Lemon Pesto
Pesto is a versatile relish you can have on hand for use anytime. It turns ordinary pasta into gourmet fare, to use with roast or baked chicken or veggies, add flavor to soups and stews, and much more. Our version uses easy to find nuts in place of the traditional pine nuts, and lights up with fragrant Meyer lemon flavor.
Course Main Course, Main Dish, Sauce
- 2/3 cup whole unsalted almonds or walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds unsalted
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 3 cups basil leaves loosely packed
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3/4 cup Romano cheese shredded
- 2 Limoneira Meyer lemons zest and juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
20 Minutes Before
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the almonds (or walnuts) in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast for 5 minutes in the oven, and turn.
Add the sunflower seeds to the baking sheet, and bake for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Turn everything, and bake for another 5 minutes, for a total of about 10 to 15 minutes for the almonds, and 5 to 7 for the sunflower seeds, turning each at least twice.
Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool.
When They've Cooled
When the nuts and seeds are room temperature, add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the basil, baby spinach, Romano, garlic, Limoneira Meyer lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.
Pulse a few times, until the ingredients begin to come together.
Add 3/4 cups of the oil in a steady drizzle as the processor runs at a medium to slow speed.
After the last of the oil has been incorporated, stop processing and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Continue processing until the ingredients are fully blended.
Add the last 1/4 cup of oil at a drizzle, until it’s at the desired consistency. If you prefer thicker, you may use very little of the last 1/4 cup.
Transfer to a jar, and spoon another tablespoon of oil on top of the mixture before you add the cap.
It can also be stored in the fridge in any covered container for up to 5 days.
You can freeze it in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
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