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Author Notes: When you find an old bunch of herbs in the refrigerator, the natural thing to do is make pesto. One day I had a wilting bunch of parsley, but no nuts or Parmesan anywhere in the house. What I did have was a tub of white miso, which turns out to be perfect for replacing both the nuts and the cheese in pesto. The flavor of this pesto is lighter and smoother than the traditional kind, with a subtle but unmistakable soy tang in the background. I love it with chicken or fish, but use it however you please. —ieatthepeach
Makes about 3/4 cup
- 2 heaping cups fresh parsley (about 3/4 of a bunch)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4-5 teaspoons white miso, as needed
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or enough to moisten and bind the pesto
- Knife method: Pile about 1/3 of the parsley and garlic in the center of a large cutting board, and use a large sharp chef’s knife or vegetable cleaver to chop them very fine. Add another 1/3 of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add the final 1/3 of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add miso paste, 1 tsp at a time, chopping each addition into the mixture until it’s incorporated. Towards the end, you may find it easier to mash the miso into the herbs with the flat of your knife, rather than chopping. The pesto is ready when you can press it into a lump and have it more or less stick to itself. Transfer the pesto-lump to a small bowl and pour over olive oil to cover the top.
- Food processor method: In a food processor, combine parsley, garlic, and miso paste. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and holds together when pressed. (If you have a small processor, doing this in batches is fine.) Transfer to a small bowl, press into a mound, and pour over olive oil to cover the top.
- The unstirred pesto can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2-3 days. To freeze the pesto, transfer the solids to an airtight container and add enough olive oil to cover the surface; it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen pesto overnight in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, stir to combine the olive oil and solids.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe that Cleans Out the Fridge
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegan Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Green Stuff
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Fewer