Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Purple Pesto

Some divine hand has been practically desperate for me to notice chives.  They keep popping up everywhere.  More specifically, chive flowers.  Amy had some flowering chives on her truck last week when she came to drop off my milk and eggs.  Then I noticed more of them being sold this weekend at Green City Market.  My kids keep bringing them in from our yard.  Today, not more than a couple of hours after I gave a friend a split of my chive plant and told her how yummy the blossoms were in salads, there was a posting on a Facebook page that I follow about chive blossoms in salad.

I looked at my beautiful purple garlic chive blossoms.

I looked at the gorgeous purple basil growing in a pot on my deck.

Bingo.  Culinary mad scientist moment.  

Ladies and gents, I give you...purple pesto!

I grabbed bunches of my garlic chive blossoms.

I picked handfuls of purple basil leaves.  Then I decided, what the heck, and threw in the purple basil flowers as well.  Maximum use from the plants, right?

I gave the basil a quick rinse and dry, and then popped it into my food processor.  

Then I shook the chive blossoms to make sure no buggy friends were along for the ride, and I took the flowers off of their green centers and just threw in the flowers.

I added the usual pesto suspects: a handful of pine nuts, a larger handful of shredded pecorino romano cheese, a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

I gave it a couple of quick bursts in the food processor.

Then I set it to go and streamed in olive oil until it came together into a pesto-like paste.  I like mine of the thicker side, because I usually add it in with other sauces or oils.  It's not quite the vivid purple I had in my technicolor dreams of it, but it's still a lovely, delicate soft lilac tone.  And it tastes like everything pesto should: fresh, bright, and a slight sharpness to it.  Using regular chive blossoms rather than garlic chive blossoms will slightly change the flavor, but I think it would be delicious as well.  Conversely, using green basil leaves will obviously change the color, but I think the flavor would be just as good.

Use it where you would use regular pesto for a fun change of pace.  I'm thinking a purple pesto cream sauce over pasta would be alliteratively delightful, but since I couldn't wait to dig in, I grabbed some artisan crackers I got at the market this weekend, spread a little cream cheese on them, and then added pesto on top.  It was delicious!

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