Saturday, May 14, 2011

Collard green pesto

Well, I guess you can make pesto out of pretty much anything, huh?

This turned out way better than I thought it would, frankly. But it doesn't shine on pasta--collard green pesto needs to be served on a big platter of cheese grits. Yeah. Cheese grits.

Anyway, it was also spicier than I thought it would be, probably because I used jalapeno-stuffed olives.

1 big bunch collard greens, tough center ribs removed
7 large brine-cured green olives (2 1/4 ounces), pitted
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Blanch collard greens briefly by bringing a big pot of water to a rolling boil, adding the greens, and cooking until soft, maybe 15 minutes. Transfer collards with tongs to a colander to drain, gently pressing on greens to extract excess water. (If making pasta, reserve water in pot for cooking pasta.) Coarsely chop collards.

Blend olives and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add collards, water, vinegar, salt, cayenne, and pepper and pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream. Turn off motor, then add cheese and pulse to combine.

Serve over cheese grits for full power.

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