The idea of a southern pesto, hit me as a great alternative to the more traditional basil pesto. It's less expensive, gives you that gorgeous green earthy color & easily compliments any pasta dish. Now, I love traditional basil pesto but sometimes I feel like it imparts so much flavor that it can easily steal the spotlight. With my southern pesto, the flavor is mild and has the ability to compliment an array of pastas & many other additional ingredients (such as roasted tomatoes, see below). This pesto allows you to be as creative as you want, adding many different ingredients, that your family loves & discovering flavor combinations, you might not get with a more traditional pesto.
1 (1 lb) bag mustard greens
1 1/2 oz asiago cheese (or parmesan)
3 small garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
season to taste (suggest: 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp white pepper)
dash cayenne (optional)
In a 5 1/2 qt dutch oven, filled halfway with water, bring to a boil. Place mustard greens in boiling water & cook for 2 minutes, drain & pat dry with a paper towel. Place mustard greens, cheese & garlic in a food processor and pulse until it appears loosely chopped. Slowly add your olive oil & continue pulsing until it forms a nice thick sauce. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Makes about 2 cups
Southern Pesto with Roasted Tomatoes & Chicken (see note below)
1 lb heirloom cherry tomatoes
Cut in half, season liberally with salt, pepper & drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast at 350F for 50 minutes, stirring them halfway through.