If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know how I hate to pay top price for food that I can recreate on my own. Now, I'll pay for certain ingredients, but it just goes against my grain to pay for something that I can make for MUCH less than the retail price. So it is with the mushroom pesto. I first blogged about this pesto in the fall of 2009. BC - otherwise known as before camera :-) We went to two farmer's markets on Saturday. At the second, we saw the stand for Jacquie's Pestos. She really has some incredible pestos. Cilantro lime, traditional, mushroom/truffle oil... Last year, we sampled all of them and the mushroom/truffle oil was so incredible that I actually forked out the $8 to buy a little tub. Ouch! Needless to say, I set about recreating it. Our visit to the Binford market reminded us how much we enjoyed the pesto. So, I looked at my posting from last fall and decided how I was going to change the recipe... Last year's came closer to hers but we like this year's version better. The most important step here is to cook the mushrooms until they're about dry. As Connie said when they'd reached that point, "They look like they're breathing in the pan." He was exactly right. You can add more oil to this if you'd like a thinner pesto. Or some cream or half and half turns it into a lovely mushroom sauce. We've slathered it on bread, made melts with it and tossed it with pasta and a good bit more grated Romano cheese. I've got just a bit left and am hoping I can get something made before Connie raids the refrigerator :-) Now, because the finished product is not very appealing to look at all alone, we'll start with a photo of the half-prepared melt...
24 oz box of button mushrooms
16 oz box of portabello mushrooms
1 T olive oil
1 c pine nuts, toasted
1 - 1 1/2 c shredded Romano cheese
2-3 T black truffle oil
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
Chop the mushrooms very finely. We used the food processor.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet. Add the mushrooms.
As they heat they will release a lot of liquid.
Cook them very slowly until they are dry. Even if you can stir them and you have a line without liquid, wait a minute and see if liquid oozes out. See what I said above about them looking like they're breathing in the skillet... Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mushrooms to cool.
Put them in the food processor with the pine nuts and Romano cheese.
Blend well. Slowly pour in the truffle oil then the EVOO. You'll want a very thick paste. It's easy to add more liquid later if you want but tough to remove excess liquid!