Add a twist to traditional pesto with a little chocolate

Add a twist to traditional pesto with a little chocolate

A traditional pesto recipe calls for ingredients like fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. When all the ingredients are combined (traditionally with a mortar and pestle, but a food processor works too), you’re left with an array of aromatic and salty flavors that taste like the perfect Italian countryside.

If you’re looking to try a classic pesto recipe for a more robust flavor, consider adding an ounce of 99% dark chocolate and some lemon zest. The chocolate will highlight the robust flavor that ground pine nuts bring to the pesto, while the basil/oil combination will appreciate the subtle hints of smokiness from the complex profile of the chocolate. The citrus element will bring out the acidity and balance the bitterness in the cocoa. Just as Mexican-style vinaigrette uses dark chocolate to balance sweet and spicy, adding chocolate to pesto will provide a similar experience, especially when you turn up the heat a notch or two. Try adding pink peppercorns, for example, for an extra touch of texture and spice. How do you use chocolate pesto sauce? Well, they’re great to add to pasta, dips, sandwiches — basically, anywhere you enjoy classic pesto.

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