From Too Many Chefs -

March 1, 2007
Artichoke Pesto

You may wonder why I haven't posted in some time. Well, when life gets busy, the busy fall back on frozen food and old reliables that work every time and don't require trying to remember just how much of ingredient A and how much of ingredient B were involved, and OH! did I remember to take a picture?* Old reliable recipes are the ones I've posted here in the past, and I'm no fan of reruns.

But I'm coming out of that most busy time and am starting to experiment a bit, although mostly with recipes that take no time at all to make. Here's one I made the other night with a jar of marinated artichokes and some nuts we had laying around.

As you may know, I was skeptical about getting a food processor and in the end, friends had to buy one for us. I'm completely converted now. In ten minutes, you can take artichoke hearts, oil, garlic, nuts, lemon juice and salt and have a batch of an unusual pesto that seems light while satisfying.

I was a little stingy on the oil, because I'm trying to hold the calories down. You can adjust up or down as you see fit. Saving a little pasta water to add with the pesto when you dress your pasta will also let you adjust the consistency of the sauce without making it greasy.

The sauce is also good on toast, on sandwiches or anywhere else you might use regular pesto or strongly flavored spreads.

*Note, I will have a picture up on this post tonight. I need to track down and install the disk for my photo-editing software so I can put it on the new computer.

Artichoke Pesto
1 jar (12 ounces) artichoke hearts
1/2 cup olive oil or to taste
1 cup pistachio nuts (or use walnuts for a different flavor)
1/3 cup lemon juice or to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Drain the artichoke hearts. If they are marinated in oil, you can omit draining the hearts and adjust the oil measure downwards appropriately.

Add the artichoke to the food processor with the nuts, cheese, and garlic and pulse until you have a paste. Add in the lemon juice and with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor as needed and pulse until you have a uniform paste-like consistency.

Taste and add salt, pepper, oil, and lemon juice to taste. It should have a lemony flavor, but the artichoke and pistachio flavors should also be present.

Serve with pasta, on toast or anywhere you please.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at March 1, 2007 7:58 AM

The artichokes and pistachios intrigue me. I am quite attached to the traditional pesto, but this sounds like a refreshing change! Thanks for the tip about the pasta water too!

Posted by Max on March 1, 2007 at 4:59 PM

This sounds fantastic! And different! I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for posting! :)

Posted by Michelle on March 1, 2007 at 9:13 PM

Glad you're back!

Posted by Meg's MOM on March 1, 2007 at 11:01 PM

Hey, thanks! I've been looking for just such a recipe!

As for my food processor, you'll pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Posted by KathyF on March 4, 2007 at 3:33 AM

great recipe! i made it vegan by substituting nutritional yeast for the cheese and it turned out fabulous. i also subbed basil for the parsley and loved the flavor.

Posted by meredith on April 5, 2007 at 11:39 PM