Pesto and Guacamole: How to Keep ‘Em Green

Brooke Newberry
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We may eat with our mouths, but every meal starts with our eyes.  Guacamole and pesto are two things that we love to have at the table because they indulge our sight with their vibrant green color.  However, these two favorites can often take on a more aged and murky look when they are exposed to oxygen. See below how to keep both of these delicious favorites at their freshest and finest green.

Become a Guacamole Hero:

 Too often we brown out – and not in a good way.  Here’s how to keep your guacamole glowing:

  • Choose avocados that are just barely ripe. 
  • Prep all guac ingredients before cutting the avocado. 
  • Continue, make that prized guacamole recipe.
  • Use plastic wrap.  Press the wrap right up against the actual guacamole.  Then, seal along the edges of the bowl.  The key is to not allow any oxygen near your green. 
  • If possible, use a Tupperware bowl that allows you to close it tightly with plastic wrap around and underneath its edges.

 Make Pretty Pesto:

 Remember June of this year’s Bon Appetit cover?  How bad did you want to make and eat that mouth-wateringly green parsley pesto spaghetti?  That stuff was fresh. What we’re looking for is a glowing, herbaceous green pigment – not a dark and tired army green. Here are some tips on how to make and keep pesto bright:

  • Pulse your ingredients – do not puree them.  Overworked basil leaves will never turn out bright.  Remember, food processors produce heat, which will dull the herbs, so keep the processing to a minimal if possible.
  • Adding sprigs of flat leaf parsley will help preserve the bright green.
  • Before processing them into pesto, try blanching basil leaves a few seconds in boiling water until they turn bright green.  Remove the leaves from the water, shock basil in ice water, and then pat the leaves dry with a clean dishtowel.
  • Top dishes with the pesto at the very last minute and avoid adding pesto to pastas still in skillets or pots.
  • Store in an airtight container, pressing the plastic wrap directly on top of the pesto which reduces oxidation.  It will keep the pesto looking fresh for your next meal.
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