There are over 15 different kinds of basil. We mostly know the green rounded one, known as Sweet Basil. But sometimes in the supermarket you will find purple basil or Dark Opal basil. This beautiful basil taste very similar to genovese or sweet basil but a bit sharper.
Pesto has been my favorite dish since I was a kid. In Peru, it is made out of spinach and genovese basil with fresh cheese and no nuts. While walking through the whole foods supermarket I found this basil and I thought about making pesto, purple pesto. As the Dark Opal is more nutty than the regular basil, I went for Pecans so the nut taste wont disappear with this stronger basil.
2 cups purple basil
1/2 cup pecan nuts
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
a squeeze of fresh lime
Salt & pepper
Blanching is a very important thing when you want to use basil. Basil tends to change color to brown when you cook it. But blanching helps keep its color. Same goes with purple basil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking.
Once the basil is blanched, combine it with garlic, pecan nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
Boil 3/4 cup of pasta per person, (I used gluten free Fusilli from Barilla) and add a spoonful of pesto. Stir well and add some parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lime. And then, Enjoy!
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