One of the greatest flavors associated with the Italians is pesto. Although normally thought of as a basil-based sauce, pesto may be made with parsley, sage or any other fresh herb. The best thing about it, though, is that it holds well in the refrigerator and has multiple uses.
- 12 eggs
- 4 1/2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts or pecans
- 5 cloves garlic
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup minced celery
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup minced sweet pickles
- salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce to taste
Boil eggs in a sauce pan covered with approximately 2 inches of water. Bring to a rolling boil and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and plunge in cold water until cool. Peel and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, place basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and Parmesan cheese. Blend on high until pureed. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove pesto from processor, place in bowl with lid and set aside. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and place yolks in a mixing bowl. Mash yolks with fork and add mayonnaise, celery, bell pepper and pickles. Blend well to incorporate all flavors. Season to taste using salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. Blend 2 tablespoons of pesto into the egg mixture. When thoroughly blended, fill the egg whites with egg/pesto mixture, cover with clear wrap and refrigerate. These eggs may be stuffed one day prior to use and will actually taste better as flavor develops. Refrigerate the remaining pesto as you may wish to use it as a pasta sauce, a flavoring for grilled fish or chicken, or brushed on hot French bread in the place of butter.