I just couldn’t help myself. But seriously, this pesto is amazing. It’s a non-traditional pesto, and so I’m not totally sure what “pesto” means, if there can be so many variations. Either way, a friend of mine bought a tub of lemon artichoke pesto a couple years ago–I’m sure it cost about eight bucks–and after I had a couple beers, it seemed only proper to eat the entire thing… and lick the container clean. What can I say? It was completely delicious.
However, unwilling to spend such an ungodly amount of money on a teeny tiny hummus-size tub, I set out to make it on my own. One poor Christmas, I made some for the entire family, and jarred them in cute little Masons. Was it a hit? Oohh, was it.
There’s something about my family that requires them to snack at exactly four o’clock or eat dinner at 5:45. I can’t explain it; I’m much less strict. What can I say? I like food, and I’ll wait for it. The fam? Not hardly. So, if you remember the dinner with our “special guest” that was categorically not me, thanks Mom.. it’s the vegetarian aunt who’s always starving upon crossing the threshold to our abode. “What will you have for Vegetarian Aunt when she walks in?!” my mother demands, desperately. “Fine, fine, I’ll make artichoke lemon pesto,” I concede. Wait.. did I just say concede? I meant responded blissfully! I love this stuff! It does, however, look like tuna fish.. But that’s irrelevant.
The recipe is a bit fuzzy, since I get a little too into the moment (Anyone watch Heroes much? I’m like the guy whose eyes go white and he goes into a future-painting frenzy.) when cooking, but this should do. It’s easy and fantastic. I served it with crostini, which is just Italian bread cut pretty thin, both sides brushed liberally with olive oil, and popped in the oven at 400º. I baked them for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, but it all depends on how crisp you want them. On we go!
Lemon Artichoke Pesto
12 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, oil reserved
1/3 – 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/3 – 1/2 cup walnuts
zest of 1/4 lemon
juice of one lemon
fresh parsley, if desired
Blend artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, walnuts, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a food processor. Add reserved artichoke oil til you reach the desired consistency. Add parsley, if desired. Garnish with a sliver of lemon and a walnut or so!