This simple artichoke pesto is, honestly, pretty bland — and that’s a good thing! It means you can customize this pesto to your liking and add it to lots of foods. (At the end of this post, I have listed some of my favorite ways to use this pesto.)
Artichokes contain prebiotics. I tend to think of prebiotics as food for probiotics – the good bacteria in your gut. But it’s a little more complicated than that. According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP): “A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that results in specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thus conferring benefit(s) upon host health. (Gibson et al. 2010. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods 7 (1) 1–19.)”
For credible scientific information about prebiotics and probiotics, see:
- Prebiotics: A Consumer Guide for Making Smart Choices
- Probiotics: A Consumer Guide for Making Smart Choices
1, 12-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, cooked according to package directions, drained
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
grated rind of one organic lemon
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Place all of the ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until a smooth paste forms.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze what you will not use up in a week.
FOOD SAFETY TIP – Before you head to your kitchen, please read this Food Safety Tip!
When you combine garlic and oil, you create an environment in which botulism (a deadly food-born bacteria) can grow. According to the University of Colorado Extension Service, to prevent the possible growth of botulism when mixing oil and garlic, you should always “add an acidifying agent such as lemon juice or vinegar to the recipe at the rate of one tablespoon per cup of oil.” Also you should “discard infusions after one week, or sooner if apparent cloudiness, gas bubbles, or foul odor develop.”
A great way to store extra fresh herb sauce is to freeze it in silicone muffin pans. For details, see the post, Silicone Muffin Pans – a Kitchen Staple – but not for baking!
OTHER FRESH HERB SAUCE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- Arugula Pesto – REALLY easy to make!
- Cilantro Chutney (Indian) – Everybody loves this one.
- Charmoula (Moroccan) – Totally amazing! Adds a lot of pop to the food!
- Basil Pesto(Italian) – A great standby.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO?
- Use this Artichoke Lemon Pesto recipe as a starter to make something even more flavorful
ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO + grated Parmesan Cheese + chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) Parsley .
- Improve any salad dressing
ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO + your favorite Italian salad dressing.
- Create a delicious thick and creamy salad dressing
ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO + fresh squeezed orange juice + dried oregano (fresh would be too overpowering) + fresh garlic (minced fine) + salt. Makes a great salad dressing. Try it on greens and top with pecan halves. Amazing! I served this dressing (without the garlic) at the lunch I made for my mom on her 89th birthday. She loved it! Personally I like this dressing with the garlic in it, but for those like my mom who don’t like garlic, it’s great without it too.
Enjoy and be healthy!