Artichoke pesto

I love adding artichoke hearts to a dish or eating them whole. And they are good for you. Ideally, it is better if you can boil or steam fresh artichokes and scrape out the hearts, though this can be time-consuming. An alternative is to buy the artichoke hearts that are marinated and ready to be used.

The marinated kind have a rich flavour which makes them great for dips, pasta dishes, pizza, casseroles, salads or appetizers. When you buy them, choose the ones in a glass jar as opposed to a metal can. They taste better and are better for you. Tetra Pak carton packaging is also a healthy choice.

For this pesto recipe, I used 2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts. However, keep in mind that store-bought marinated artichokes are often high in sodium. Should you want to make this recipe, whether you are using the ones that are marinated in oil or water, I recommend that you strain and rinse them out well under cold running tap water in order to wash away excess sodium. I also recommend that you use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil.

This pesto is so nice and fresh and handy to have should you want to make a different kind of pasta dish. It also tastes great as a spread on crackers or crisps.

It keeps well in a sealed glass jar in the refridgerator for about 4-5 days. I like to divide it into 2 separate jars and freeze one jar. Yes, you can freeze the pesto directly in the glass jar for up to 8-9 months as long as you leave 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) free space below the top of the container and you let it thaw in the fridge before using it.

Soon I will post a simple, but flavourful pesto pasta dish that I like to make with this artichoke pesto.

Artichoke pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, strained and rinsed well ( I use two 285 gram jars of artichokes)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic buds
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh curly parsley leaves, packed tight
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves (about 8 big leaves), packed tight
  • A pinch of salt, to taste

Procedure

Strain and rinse out the articokes under cold running water and reserve 1/2 cup of artichokes. Set these aside.

Add all ingredients (except the 1/2 cup reserved artichokes) to your food processor bowl and process until smooth. This should take less than a minute, depending on your blade. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a little.

Add the reserved 1/2 cup of artichokes and process for about 10 seconds or just enough so that you have some small chunks of artichokes mixed throughtout.

Transfer into 2 separate glass jars, seal and refridgerate. Keeps well in the refridgerator for about 4-5 days. You can also freeze directly in the glass jar for up to 8-9 months as long as you leave 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) free space below the top of the container and you let it thaw in the fridge before using it.

Add approximately 1 tbsp (or more according to taste) of pesto for each serving of cooked pasta of choice. Mix well into the pasta. Can also use as a spread on crackers.

Bon appétit!

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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