May 5, 2010

Spring Greens Pesto

Spring Greens Pesto
makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup broken up dried mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb or so greens in season
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup lightly toasted nuts (pine nuts, almonds or walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 lemon

Reconstitute the mushrooms in a small bowl or cup with just enough boiling water to cover. Set aside to cool in the water.
In a pan large enough to hold the greens, heat the oil and sauté the garlic briefly, then add the greens. If you are using a mix of greens, add the tougher ones (like kale and collards) before the tender ones, like spinach. Cook until wilted. The time on this can range widely: for only kale, it may take many minutes, while spinach alone will only take a few seconds. If the greens start to stick, add a splash of water.
Scrape the cooked greens into the blender and combine with the mushrooms and their juices, Parmesan, toasted nuts, salt and pepper, and finally, a squirt of lemon juice. If your blender has variable speeds, start slowly and increase gradually. Pur&acutee until silky smooth.
Serve over cooked pasta, with meat or fish, on crackers or toasted baguette as an hors d'oeuvre, or as a spread on sandwiches.
Will keep, its surface in direct contact with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for one week.Can also be frozen for later use.

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